Today's date: Monday November 12, 2018 Vol 51 Issue 45
   
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Municipal 2018
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The Wellington Advertiser encourages letters to the editor.
You may, if you wish, submit your letter online.

Carbon tax benefits

Dear Editor:

RE: Emissions, Nov. 1.

I mostly agree with Michael Lee, particularly our urgency to act if we want a livable planet. The latest IPCC report states we only have 12 years, at most, to effect significant changes!  Every tool at our disposal is needed to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and according to economists, and Nobel laureates, the most efficient and least costly tool is the carbon tax.

Lee is also correct, that a tax of $20 per ton of CO2 won’t do much, but it’s not politically possible to start at $100/ton. Instead, the price has to be predictably ramped up to give people and industry time to adapt. If everyone knows the price is increasing, they will look at buying more fuel efficient cars, or improving their home insulation, or using more public transportation. Industries will also plan for more efficient equipment and processes.

A steadily increasing carbon tax levels the playing field for renewable energy by encouraging new development and more jobs in that field – as happened in B.C.

It encourages entrepreneurs to develop small modular thorium nuclear reactors, hydrogen powered vehicles and cheaper, longer range electric vehicles. When governments return the money collected to taxpayers, lower income families will receive a rebate greater than what they paid, making it socially just.

Returning the tax also allows the market place to decide winners and losers, as governments are notoriously bad at that. It was the perfect Conservative policy – but the Liberals stole the ball and are running with it!

Gord Cumming, GEORGETOWN

Disrespectful ‘droppings’

Dear Editor:

Would you please make sure you clean the droppings of your dog from other peoples’ lawns?

You do not like them on your lawn; I do not like them on mine.

I am very busy looking after my husband, who is in a wheelchair.

What you are doing is very inconsiderate to your neighbours and if this chore is too much for you maybe you should not have an animal.

 

 

Herta Wunder, ELORA

Election problems

Dear Editor:

Further to Wayne Robson’s letter (Pining for paper, Nov. 1), I have lived here in Guelph for over a year, am in the phone book, but received two ballots for my address for people who moved out a long time ago, and I never received one with my name on it.

Whoever looks after voters’ records deserves severe criticism for a lousy job. I am retired, licensed driver and wish to start up a group of like minded people to drive voters to their respective voting stations on not just the next election, but to have a dependable group throughout Wellington to help those without transport. Please call me after Remembrance Day.

Charles Lewis, GUELPH

Fossil fuel dependency

Dear Editor:

RE: Opinion: Trudeau’s wrong-headed approach to climate change, Nov. 1. You would think from reading Gwyn Morgan’s “opinion,” he worked for a natural gas company - oh wait, he did.

He suggests the way to reduce greenhouse gases is to burn a different fossil fuel, and keep burning it and burning it … whereas, what a liveable world needs, is for us to stop burning fossil fuels of all types.

The latest IPCC report states we only have 12 years, at most, to significantly reduce emissions. Most economists, the Eco Fiscal Commission, and recently a Nobel laureate all say the most efficient and cost effective way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is to put a tax on those same fossil fuels.

Morgan is correct that the starting price of $20 per ton of CO2 will have a negligible effect. But if taxpayers and industry understand that the tax will be predictably ramped up, they will have time to plan to make greener choices in their modes of transportation and keep buildings comfortable, while choosing more efficient processes and equipment.

No one expects us to stop driving fossil fueled vehicles overnight. They didn’t stop driving horse drawn buggies overnight either. Increasing the cost of fossil fuels will encourage industry to develop cheaper, longer range electric vehicles or hydrogen powered vehicles, or improved public transportation.

A carbon tax can lead to a whole new era of green energy jobs, and a world in which our grandchildren can live.

Ron Moore, HILLSBURGH

Legion work lauded

Dear Editor:

Now that November is upon us, I would like to take a moment to thank all of our Legion members from Elora, Fergus and surrounding areas for conducting the annual Poppy Campaign.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if their dedication and commitment to our country was recognized throughout the year, instead of just the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day?

I would encourage everyone to take a moment and have a conversation when you make your donation for a poppy. I did and greatly enjoyed my chat with a veteran and his beautiful service dog that made me smile for the rest of the day.

Katrina Maciulis, ELORA

Poppy pride

Dear Editor:

Thank you Chris Daponte for a very insightful piece on Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918 (Hundred Days Offensive a costly end to Great War, Nov. 1). I was very moved by the article.

Canada has the right to be proud of our then young nation and its effect on the outcome of WWI at the cost of thousands of young lives.

My grandfather, F. T. James of Walkerton (born in Wales) served with distinction as a medical orderly but like most veterans, never spoke of that living nightmare to his children or grandchildren. Some of his medals are on display at the Legion in Walkerton.

He was among the lucky ones who returned home and lived a full productive life, passing at the age of 94. At this time of year and especially 100 years on, “We will remember them.” Wear a poppy with pride.

Brian Arsenault, EAST GARAFRAXA

SSMP changes

Dear Editor:

Town of Erin’s Servicing and Settlement Master Plan (SSMP), completed in September 2014, provided a number of recommendations regarding  water, wastewater, transportation and storm water management servicing that are key to implementing the SSMP:  

1. moving forward with remaining phases of the Class EA process to develop an undertaking to provide a sanitary sewage collection system for Hillsburgh and Erin village based on servicing scenarios reviewed in the report (the 2014 SSMP was based on additional growth of 1,500 – now the Town projects an additional 10,000);  

2. seek out senior government funding for this undertaking (actually delayed until now, premise that a ‘shovel-ready’ completed EA is now necessary to seek government funding);

3. water servicing upgrades as defined in the report, so that appropriate facilities are in place when required to service future growth (only now started to address the water deficit in servicing the current population of 4,500, but nothing on the water needs for the anticipated new growth);

4. review and amend the town’s Official Plan as needed to implement the SSMP and allocate growth within urban boundaries. Similarly, the County of Wellington should revise its Official Plan to reflect the town’s capacity to provide wastewater service, and adjust population forecasts accordingly (only now on the new council’s agenda; big difference in growth between 1,500 and 10,000. As per the Municipal Act, the public has the opportunity to participate in the Official Plan amendments);

5. apply stormwater management policies ... to manage new growth areas and to address deficiencies with existing stormwater management (no updated reports for existing infrastructure or the impact of the potential growth for the now 10,000 people);

6. monitor transportation issues in conjunction with  growth of urban areas and work with the vounty to implement measures to alleviate issues (no updated reports on existing transportation infrastructure or the impact of the potential growth of the now 10,000 people in Erin or the expected growth north of Erin); and

7. make use of information and data gathered during the SSMP process to further the ongoing advancement of the municipality so that it will continue to be a place that people will want to live in as defined by the Community Vision Statement. (the vision statement states the town “will remain a vibrant, safe and sustainable community…through responsible development and servicing, the town’s rich natural environment will be protected and preserved”).

Ainley Engineering’s amendments in 2018 to the 2014 SSMP focused primarily on increasing wastewater servicing for the existing 4,500 and potential 10,000 as defined in the terms of reference.  

Hopefully council will now address the additional costs associated with water, transportation and stormwater management servicing as a result of the anticipated new growth.

Roy Val, ERIN

The Bells of Peace

Dear Editor:

 One hundred times the bells peal loud.

They peal for peace to the gathered crowd.

Lest we forget, one century ago,

The Great War ended and now we show,

Our gratitude to those who fell.

We remember them with a ringing bell,

Not just once, but one hundred times;

We ponder their sacrifice as it chimes.

Thank you, brave soldiers, one and all,

For answering your country’s call.

Let the bells of peace ring out for thee,

One hundred times, in memory...

Sandra Owen, FERGUS

Trains and buses

Dear Editor:

I refer to two long letters published Nov. 1 in the Wellington Advertiser. Both were about climate change, energy use, and emissions. They suggested more energy-efficient cars, nuclear energy, and natural gas.

Strangely there was no mention of the energy systems we already have, and have used for over a hundred years: trains and buses.  

The writers, apparently car-lovers, did not mention the energy efficiency of trains and buses. Not only are they energy-efficient, but are safer. More buses on the road means less congestion, fewer emissions and fewer collisions.

Governments should financially support more public transit, instead of more roads. Obviously gas and oil are non-renewable resources - not sustainable.  

Why not take proper action now instead of when we become desperately short of fossil fuel? We’d do our country and our children a favour to establish public transit systems now, and governments must make sure they’re cheap to use.

Helen Hansen, GUELPH

Unfounded credibility?

Dear Editor:

RE: Opinion: Trudeau’s wrong-headed approach to climate change, Nov. 1.

It appears that the article written by Gwyn Morgan was taken almost verbatim from an oil and gas website “jwenergy.com.” This website and the Advertiser both described Morgan as “a retired Canadian business leader who has been a director of five global corporations,” but the original article also stated, “He was the founding president and chief executive officer of Encana,” which your paper failed to include.

Encana is a Canada’s largest natural gas producer and Morgan was this country’s highest paid oil patch executive until he retired from Encana in 2006 with a defined benefit pension of $26.5 million and at that time held $10 million worth of stock options. I was also surprised to discover that Morgan, a petroleum engineer, was a pioneer in the controversial natural gas extraction method called fracking, which has been banned in four Canadian provinces and nine countries, because of concerns about air pollution, groundwater contamination and risks to human health.

Morgan’s article has some technical merit, but based only on his links to, and funding from the fossil fuel industry, he has lot to lose if carbon taxes are implemented.

The Advertiser’s failure to disclose the source of this biased article and Morgan’s links to the gas industry, in my opinion, gave his opinion piece more credibility than it deserved.

*Editor’s note: Morgan’s opinion piece, including the byline and author description, appeared in the Advertiser as received by the newspaper.

 

John Burger, ORTON

‘Cost-free pollution’

Dear Editor:

RE: Opinion: Trudeau’s wrong-headed approach to climate change, Nov. 1.

Gwyn Morgan is absolutely right when he declares that “trying to solve a problem with the wrong solution will inevitably lead to failure.” That is precisely why his proposed solution - replacing gasoline with natural gas, another fossil fuel - cannot be the answer to our present climate crisis.

Recent dire United Nations’ scientific panel reports indicate that putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions is essential to getting global warming under control. Economists favour carbon pricing because it gives companies financial incentives to reduce fossil fuel use without the need for government regulations.

The UN reports have made it abundantly clear: if we are to have any hope of leaving a livable world to our children and grandchildren, the days of cost-free pollution must end now.

Jim Zimmerman, ARISS

‘Hydrogen economy’?

Dear Editor:

RE: Emissions, Nov. 1.

What Michael Lee fails to highlight that is that carbon taxes do “sort of” work. I would also like to point out that Lee’s concerns should not be targeted to a particular party but to all politicians, whatever their political stripe.

Carbon taxes work because they hurt us in the wallet. So a person who drives a Sonic might now want to drive a hybrid or electric car.  

Delivery companies will hopefully change delivery vehicles to stop using pure diesel to use diesel with a hydrogen (HHO) injection (20 to 25% range) or better yet, compressed natural gas or better still, a nickel hydrogen battery or best of all, a hydrogen fuel cell.

But how are companies incentivized to make changes and not do anything other than just pass the costs along? How do we measure the impact when Canada, with 0.5% of the world’s population, produces 2% of the carbon emissions? Half of Canada’s share comes from the tar sands. Transportation makes up a third of the non-tar sands emissions. How does Canada measure the impact on CO2 reduction?

Publicly available information from New Zealand, Ireland, Finland, Australia, Chile and Sweden indicates the carbon tax impact on CO2 emissions are minimal or uncertain.  

It should be noted that the UK, like Ontario, has seen CO2 reductions as coal fired generation stations have been shut down.

So what is the next step? What is the end goal? What is the road map? How long will it take to get us there?

Politicians are “generally” concerned with the immediacy of an election. Society at large should be concerned about the impact of our choices on our grandchildren’s grandchildren. First Nations people look at the impact for seven generations out. Shouldn’t we?

The following list shows the carbon impact of our most used fuels. Burning wood has a greater carbon footprint than the tar sands. Concerned about climate change, which would you prefer to burn?:

- Coal C-8 H-4 O-2  + nitrogen + sulphur;

- wood C-50 H-6 O-42 (lignite and cellulose comp.);

- tar sands extraction bitumen  C-10 H-1 S -1 + silica + nitrogen + oxygen;

- diesel C-12 H-23;

- gasoline C-8  H-18;

- jet fuel/kerosene C-12 H-26;

- propane C-3 H-8;

- natural gas C H-4;

- hydrogen H-2 no carbon.

Looking beyond a carbon tax,  all governments should get behind hydrogen and develop a hydrogen economy. If Alberta can be a carbon economy why can’t Ontario, with all of its unused clean energy, become a hydrogen economy?

Bob Ahrens, ELORA

‘Sickening’ consequences

Dear Editor:

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that in all the Conservative political assaults on “carbon taxes”, the focus is entirely on how the federal government will be ripping us off, and how we all hate paying taxes, and let’s kill ‘em quick.

And not a word about how much the kids will have to pay in sickening climate consequences if our provincial government, for one, continues to do what it’s doing now - nothing.

A new, more honest slogan for you, Mr. Ford: “For the people, except our kids.”

Liz Armstrong, ERIN

ReliableFord

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Wellington North Guide 2018-2019

BUZZ

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Instant winner at Grand River Raceway
Fergus Lions Club to hold Diabetes Awareness Day on Nov. 17
OPP seeking warrant for man who drove at officers, smashed into cruiser
Moorefield bank robbery part of broad investigation
Passing of retired Centre Wellington fire chief Jack Karn

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