Today's date: Wednesday July 18, 2018 Vol 51 Issue 29
   
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Business Leader Summer 2018
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The Wellington Advertiser encourages letters to the editor.
You may, if you wish, submit your letter online.

Breakfast thanks

Dear Editor:

A big thank you to our friends at Zehrs in Fergus for the breakfast you so kindly provided to our students and staff on June 22.

The “Eat Together Day” that you are promoting enhances the nutritional health and focus of the children in our community.

The students and staff at Victoria Terrace Public School, Fergus,

Carbon fee/dividend

Dear Editor:

There is a very important opportunity that Doug Ford is presenting to the federal government.

Ford agrees that climate change is real and is caused by human activity. He also understands that people do not trust government or government tax and spending programs to address the climate crisis.  

Ford has promised to “put money” in people’s pockets - and scrap the cap and trade program.

A revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend program will meet all of Ford’s criteria and the federal government can move Ontario’s and Canada’s low carbon economy forward.

The federal government must stay the course and insist on carbon pricing. No one gets to pollute for free. But where a province refuses to participate,  introduce it as a carbon fee and direct dividend to those taxpayers from the federal government.

Please do not bury the revenue in some sort of transfer to the provincial governments or other opaque adjustments/funds. It is absolutely essential for each and every taxpayer in those provinces to see that the revenue from the dividend is being returned to them - every cent of it.

Yes, I know that economists have concluded that the least expensive approach is to reduce other taxes (Ecofiscal Commission), but the differences are small and frankly insignificant when compared to the vital importance of public acceptance of carbon pricing.

We have to face the fact that many taxpayers are weary and wary of new “taxes.” They do not trust governments to spend this revenue wisely. Many perceive carbon pricing as merely a “tax grab.” It is essential that the government address those perceptions head-on. Carbon pricing is far too important to be lost over these perceptions and concerns.

The federal government’s carbon price must be transparently and demonstrably revenue neutral. Taxpayers must be able to see the revenue returned directly to them - by cheque or in their bank accounts. Otherwise, no matter how important and no matter how sensible, the initiative will be burdened and ultimately doomed by these perceptions.   

After all, putting a price on carbon is not about raising revenue for governments: it is about introducing proper pricing signals and  unleashing the marketplace. It is not a true “tax”. It is simply a fee to discourage polluting in the most efficient way possible.

But perceptions matter. Rightly or wrongly, nothing may matter more.

 

 

 

Steve Dyck and Scott Snider,

Great hospital

Dear Editor:

Recently, I had minor surgery at Groves Memorial Community Hospital in Fergus.

While I was only in there for the day, I was treated with utmost care and attention. I couldn’t have asked for better care. Nurses in the pre-operating room, operating room, and recovery room were all fantastic.

The assistant nurse, Lee, in the operating room was very supportive. Special thanks to Dr. Williams and her team.

Great hospital for a small town! Good luck in your new building.

 

 

Marie Beaudry, BELWOOD

Kelly’s column

Dear Editor:

Well, I have been a regular reader of your local paper for a good decade. And I must confess that, without any offence to all the news and letters and matters going on in the region, I shimmy over first and foremost to Kelly Waterhouse’s Write Out of Her Mind column.

Why, you may ask? Well, she tells it like it is. She has a beautiful way of capturing life, and she shares.  She is open. Which, isn’t so easy in a small community. She loves this community. She loves her family. She loves life.

And I love honest people who happen to write, too. They feed us, to realize how very similar we really all are.

This last week’s article about Kelly and the Carpenter (I’m sure everyone has their own imaginary pic of your hubby) spoke to my heart. Out in their backyard contemplating “where we goin’, hons?”

All the stuff may be in need of repair, but your home is home, where your heart is. You know what it’s all about, Kelly. Love.

You have a gift. So this is a little  note thanking you for sharing it, and your heart, every week, with all of us.

Rachel Bernstein, FERGUS

Loss of history, beauty

Dear Editor:

How does everyone feel about losing the historic stone ruin which was used for filming An American Christmas Carol also known as the Kiddie Kar Factory in Elora? The suggestion by Steve Wright to designate this and other ruins as part of the village of Elora was not acted upon for some reason?

Quoting the Advertiser from Oct. 19, 2012 by Mike Robinson “Brian Blackmere stressed the intent is to retain the flavour of the existing sites heritage ... the building known as the Kiddie Car (sic) Factory would be blended in the new condominium development.”

Soon Elora will have to relinquish her designation of “Ontario’s most beautiful village.” 

Carol Williams, PILKINGTON

Marijuana dangerous

Dear Editor:

I reviewed the poll statistics in the Advertiser regarding whether people will smoke marijuana once legislation passed.  

According to the poll, about 74% said no. However, the rest said yes.  So if they never smoked marijuana before, we have an increase of smokers of 25%. Not good.

I just wanted to let you know that my sign was taken down by someone on Canada Day weekend.  I have done my best to express my concern for our young people and little children and what drugs do to their brain, including marijuana.

It is a fact and was explored by the Senate Committee about 15 years ago and in a report.

Justin Trudeau is wrong to legalize recreational marijuana across Canada. We should be fighting all drugs coming into this country, not introducing gateway drugs as legal.

Carolann Krusky-Brett, FERGUS

No sex-ed plan

Dear Editor:

Doug Ford is moving ahead without thinking about the real kids who will be impacted when school starts in just six weeks.

He’s ripping up the existing plan but not providing a new one to replace it.

Carol Peterson, BELWOOD

Pay councillors more

Dear Editor:

The latest council decision to defeat compensation for Centre Wellington councillors and mayor makes sense to me.

As someone who is involved with community endeavours and fundraising for various initiatives I can mostly definitely say that this minor job of mine in comparison to those of council, takes a lot of rental brain space, even when you aren’t in the meeting or at the gig you are working towards.

I have witnessed the 300-page reports each council person receives usually on the Thursday prior to Monday’s meeting. It is daunting. Then you are available to your constituents via email and phone, walking down the street, and then of course to the meetings themselves droning on for hours (yes the job).

Further, you need to research, speak to staff where required to try and understand the issues for the meeting - again, more time spent.

I am not sure when sitting on council became a “public service” but our friends in Ottawa and Queens Park are most certainly paid for their time with salaries, staff, support, pensions and write-offs. How is your municipal councillor or mayor less valuable?

The decisions they make absolutely make more immediate impact to you and your family than most decisions at the provincial and federal levels.

Guelph’s mayor is paid $155,000 and councillors are now paid $40,000. Are the decisions for Guelph residents somehow more important than Centre Wellington’s?

If anyone wants to see a council chamber that has a younger demographic I would suggest a remuneration increase in order to attract a broad range of talent to the job.

Staci Barron, ELORA

Real happiness

Dear Editor:

As a senior, I often wonder whether the present generation is too “educated” to be happy.

Advertising tells them  they will be happy with lotions or medications. Government promises future security through taxable benefits. Even love can be reached with TV romance addresses!

But people are still hungry for real, lasting happiness.

Scientific studies bring education but no happiness. Where can young people go?

My own experience (almost 100 years) tells me that you can have happiness. Through much trial and error, I now know!

You can be happy very easily, realizing you are an important  link in the human world. And just as a link fits into a chain, every link is necessary.

Realize that you are necessary,  by starting to look for ways to connect to others. Each person is very specially made, so honour that unique ability you  now have to connect with this special creature.

I truly hope at least one young person will read this  advice and be on the way to success - and real, lasting happiness.

Sytske Drijber, ROCKWOOD

Respect bus drivers

Dear Editor:

I have driven a school bus for years and years and this year motorists have showed me more greed and selfishness than ever before.

No one stops at stop signs; almost all drivers drive well above the posted speed limit; an alarming number of motorists are talking or texting on their cell phones; some will lay on their horns and pass at racing speeds.

I had one driver flip me the bird, reload and flip me again. It turns out that this fine young lady works in the education system.

Let us school bus drivers do our job. We are not hauling steel, concrete or garbage; we are transporting children to and from school. Parents are trusting us to get their children to school and back safely.

Please show us some respect for the job we are doing, but more important, show respect for the children we are transporting.

We have had more than enough kids lose their lives in bus accidents this year.

Randy Parkinson, GUELPH-ERAMOSA

Slow down please

Dear Editor:

Our wee little hamlet has way too many people coming along Erin/Garafraxa townline, not behaving themselves by speeding. So many times I have called the OPP, because of one main time of speeding motorists between 6am and 7am.

The OPP claim that is their shift change time. Well, perhaps they should adjust their time of change so as they can catch these speeders. Just today (July 9) we saw a compact car speeding past a pickup just in front of our driveway, around noon. The speed of 50km runs for about 1.5km on our townline. These folks can’t slow down for that amount of time?

There is also a school bus company that has two bus drivers speeding through here too in the afternoon. There is no need for that. They are professional drivers. I would like to see speed humps put in (just like the ones in Belfountain and Alton), a larger sign calling for motorists to slow down (you must miss them too... they are only about 1.5’ in height at either end of the 50km).

The “slow” signs on the road in Belfountain must be at least four feet high, you can’t miss them. The amount of semi-trailers coming down our road. Why? So they don’t have to travel through Marsville where it is 50km and monitored by OPP a lot more and these truckers know it?

Then tonight around 7:30pm three huge gravel trucks came speeding through town. What is it is going to take? A family pet, an adult or even sadder a child killed before something is done?

Sandy Blahut, ORTON

Stop development

Dear Editor:

 Xinyi Canada Glass has placed full-page advertisements in The Wellington Advertiser for weeks now. Each time I see these ads, printed under the name Xinyi Canada Glass and Guelph-Eramosa, read Tommy Wong’s letters to Guelph-Eramosa Township (GET) residents, or scan the information included in the ads, I am struck by the fact the president of Xinyi Canada Glass writes as if the proposed float glass plant has received all necessary municipal and provincial approvals and therefore can write that “Xinyi Canada Glass is building...”

 Given that nothing has been approved by Guelph-Eramosa Township to-date, the statement is premature, disrespectful to GET residents who have clearly indicated they do not support the building of a float glass plant in the location that Xinyi would like to purchase, and demonstrates Xinyi’s blatant disregard for municipal by-laws, procedures and process.

Ultimately, however, it’s what is not being said or addressed by Wong, and what information is frequently changing in these ads, that is most critical and deserves careful consideration. The July 5 ad, for example, indicates the corporation will create “400 Careers for the community.” Wasn’t it just two weeks ago that the Xinyi ad indicated the corporation would create 380 jobs “in the next five years”? Moreover, which universities and colleges has Xinyi partnered with to create “University partnerships” in Guelph or Guelph-Eramosa Township?

The fog of advertising is everywhere seen in the Xinyi full-page advertisements. At the end of the day, however, the Rural-Industrial M1 “dry use” GET zoning bylaw makes clear that only industry that does not use significant water or have significant effluent may be considered under the M1 zoning by-law. The proposed float glass plant development application, which will extract millions and millions of litres of potable groundwater every year for plant use should never have been accepted by Guelph-Eramosa Township in April 2018.

In a township where source groundwater is already labelled at significant risk and the Queensdale wellhead’s ability to provide water for Guelph is described as unsustainable, how could GET’s elected representatives and administrative staff even consider a heavy industrial development that would mine water, putting residents’ wells at risk, while allowing Xinyi to build corporate profits?

In a May 9 letter to GET CAO, Ian Roger, City of Guelph CAO, Derrick Thomson, wrote, “Any new water takings within this area would be considered a Significant Drinking Water Threat...”

On July 16, at a 7pm GET council meeting, council will be asked to vote on a motion asking them to uphold the existing zoning bylaw. By voting in favour of the motion, any further consideration of the Xinyi development application must stop.

The meeting will be held at Parkwood Gardens Community Church, 501 Whitelaw Road, Guelph.

Susan McSherry, GUELPH-ERAMOSA

Thanks for support

Dear Editor:

On July 11, MPPs assembled at Queen’s Park in Toronto for the first sitting of the 42nd Provincial Parliament.

The first order of business that day was the election of a Speaker. It was my honour to be elected by my colleagues to serve in that role.

In expressing my thanks to MPPs after the result was announced in the House, I also extended thanks to my constituents for their support over the years, which has made my service in the Ontario Legislature possible.

The Speaker’s role carries with it significant responsibilities, including presiding with fairness over debates in the House, the administration of the Legislature and the Parliamentary Precinct, and many other duties. No Speaker could succeed without the outstanding staff of the Ontario Legislature, who are more than just professional and dedicated public servants. In fact, they are magnificent.

While my role in the Legislature is no longer a partisan or political one, my first priority continues to be the service of my constituents:  all the people who live in Wellington-Halton Hills.

As such, it is my intention and plan to continue to start off each and every working day by dealing with our constituency issues. If you have a problem or an idea concerning the provincial government, please don’t hesitate to contact our riding office, at 1-800-265-2366. We are here to help in any way we can.

I want to thank everyone who has sent their kind messages of congratulations in recent days. I couldn’t be more grateful for your friendship and support.

Ted Arnott,

Working to help

Dear Editor:

I was compelled to respond to Emily Mercer Sawyer’s heartfelt and insightful letter concerning mental health support at Centre Wellington District High School and within our community.

First, I want to thank Emily for taking the time to not only express her concerns, but to also dig deeper in an effort to better understand the situation. The world needs more of this. Secondly, I want to assure Emily and her peers that there are a great many people-both within and outside the school, who share your concerns and are trying to do everything they can to make sure that there are support systems in place and available to everyone.

We want our youth to thrive and we won’t settle for anything less. To that end, we too are doing research and drawing from our own experiences. We’re trying our best to understand where you’re at and how we can help get you to where you want to go. We know that the journey from child to adult is a tough one, but you have the added burden of navigating technological minefields that neither we, nor any other previous generation, have any experience with. That puts us all in uncharted waters.

Far too often we’re left to guess at what you’re experiencing and where to best focus the resources we have. There is no playbook for growing up in these changing times... yet.

Emily, it’s you and others like you who will help us write that book. The more you tell us about your perspectives, your experiences and your struggles, the less we’ll have to guess about what you are facing and how we can support you. Talking about difficult subjects is hard-even for many adults. However, we are committed to making this transition as painless as possible for you and all those coming up behind you. The more you help us, the better the outcomes will be. Please, keep talking and we’ll keep listening. Lives depend on it.

Erika Longman, FERGUS

‘Disgusted’

Dear Editor:

As a retired elementary school principal, grandmother to four grandchildren in our Ontario school system and as one of the “people” this government purports to be “for,” I am disgusted that our premier and our minister of education have acceded to the wishes of a tiny minority of far-right parents who fail to understand the importance of our children being given the knowledge, the words and the strategies needed to grow up safely in today’s world.

To keep information on cyber bullying, sexting, predators, abusers and the meaning of consent from them is unconscionable. To fail to foster knowledge and understanding of what it means to be LGBTQ in today’s world and to be accepting and respectful of these differences in people is disgraceful.

The decision is a blatant political payback by our premier and has nothing whatsoever to do with educating children. It is detrimental to the physical and mental well-being of our children to fail to educate them for the realities of the world in which they live.

Why would any realistic person think for a moment that to go back to 1998 to try to understand the world of 2018 makes sense? The reality is - and was when I was working in the school system - that many parents are uncomfortable discussing these topics with their children and the only place children learn these important topics is in school. If they don’t learn them there, they are at greater risk of abuse and of being fooled by predators on the internet.

The 1998 curriculum is ridiculously out-of-date and out of touch with today’s world. The decision by this government to reinstate it is ludicrous and dangerous and should be rescinded immediately for the safety of all of our children. It is the only responsible decision possible.

Sharon O’Driscoll, ROCKWOOD

‘Honourable actions’

Dear Editor:

I would like to commend Centre Wellington council for voting down the current Cemetery Master Plan that removes mature trees.

Council’s decision to hit the pause button on the new proposed Master Cemetery Plan is a wise one. Developing the current green space and removing of (13 of 27) mature conifers that the Town of Fergus paid to spade-in a number of years ago, makes no sense given the significant value of these trees. After all, the removal would create no more additional burial plots.

I am proud to live in a community where its current leadership values the input and investments made by past residents and maintaining these trees is a testament to the respect that council has for its residents and past decision makers.

This demonstrates that in Centre Wellington we are handling the challenges of development with a long-term perspective. It proves that our council understands the importance of the trees in our community and that their ecological services cannot easily be replaced by replanting. They see the negative effect that the loss of mature trees will have on current and future residents.

On Arbor Day in 1907, Theodore Roosevelt stated, “within your lifetime the nation’s need of trees will become serious. We of an older generation can get along with what we have, though with growing hardship; but in your full manhood and womanhood you will want what nature once so bountifully supplied and man so thoughtlessly destroyed; and because of that want you will reproach us, not for what we have used, but for what we have wasted.”

When planning community spaces, including cemeteries, we must consider the quality of lives of current and future residents while taking in the lessons and appreciating the investment of past citizens. I am grateful that, in Centre Wellington, our leadership is protecting our forest cover.

Our community’s mature trees are one of many important players that make this community a wonderful place to live. They are an investment made by past residents for us to benefit from today and their removal should never be taken lightly.

Thank you councilors. It is good to know you are looking out for past, current and future generations of Centre Wellington residents. Honourable actions like these will stand the test of time.

Alison Morrison, ELORA

‘Inspiring’

Dear Editor:

RE: Serious concerns, July 5.

I want to commend Emily Mercer Sawyer for taking the time to make her world better by speaking out. Emily, it is important to have mental health support and it is important to have people who will take the time to listen and help when issues of depression and other mental health issues surface.

It is also important to rule out physical illness when one is suffering from depression. Diagnosis for brain-related illnesses is slow and not treated quickly. I don’t believe medication alone is the answer to mental health.  It is a series of many things, understanding ourselves so we know how unique we are, knowing our limitations and accepting ourselves.  

Also, please realize, once you leave high school, all of the people and teachers and students or peers  that may have had great influence during those years, disappear. Stay grounded in high school as it is just a passageway to many other parts of your life.

Listening skills are very important during this time, that someone takes the time. Also, a belief in a higher power, or God, is extremely helpful. The fact is that as you get older, and I am over 55, you realize we are here for a purpose and to make choices. But when we believe in a higher power, we know we are loved unconditionally. That means no matter what has happened, we are loved, we are good, we can be restored no matter what mistakes we might make. We are special and unique and loved.

Proverbs in the Bible is my recommendation to all youth.  It is simple and straight forward to read and it teaches wisdom. I have found this to be true on my journey. Please, also, if others write things about you on Facebook or email you, you  can choose to be defeated or you can simply say “you are wrong” and go on with your life.

In this life, many strangers will try to define you, but don’t let them - of course, family who love you, will always try to give you good advice. Emily, you are loved, you are unique; your fellow students all have so much to offer to this world.  

I recently heard two thirds of the world are starving. Young  people, with their energy focused to what is important, can change this; they can help fellow Canadians who need help, can be a great voice in fighting against drug abuse for example, can find ways to harness the wonderful energy of our youth to make this world a better place, can use their creativity to invent and to make Canada a better place to live for all.    

Thank you, Emily, for your letter to the editor. You are inspiring.

Carolann Krusky-Brett, FERGUS

‘Science not settled’

Dear Editor:

RE: Carbon fee/dividend, July 12.

The writers of this letter from Guelph Citizens Climate Lobby claim that a carbon tax is “simply a fee to discourage polluting in the most efficient way possible.” That isn’t true. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is necessary for life and increases agricultural productivity.  

The purpose of carbon taxes in any form is to make currently abundant affordable energy expensive and replace it with renewable energy that is extremely expensive, inefficient and requires huge government subsidies.

Global warming alarmists have convinced many that increased CO2 emissions, caused by using fossil fuels, is the sole or main reason behind global warming, and that it will cause catastrophic conditions on Earth if we don’t take drastic actions now.  Yet, CO2 is only a tiny element among hundreds of factors that affect climate.

There have been periods of global cooling and warming before fossil fuels were a factor. As recently as the 1970s, scientists were warning us about a new coming ice age.

I would urge anyone with an open mind to read Marc Morano’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change.  Morano shows that the Earth has not been warming at an alarming rate, global warming has slowed or paused since 1998 despite increased CO2 emissions, sea level rise rates have not accelerated, the number and intensity of extreme weather events has not increased, spending the trillions of dollars needed to achieve climate accord targets would have negligible effects, etc. He backs it up by referring to scientific data, studies and quotes from experts.

Global warming alarmists don’t do well in debates against climate skeptics, so their approach is to avoid debates and try to silence skeptics through intimidation, ridicule and even lawsuits.

It seems to have worked, as one seldom hears about the other side of this issue from politicians and the mainstream media. The science is not settled.

Henry Brunsveld, PUSLINCH

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Wellington County

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