|Today's date: Thursday April 27, 2017||Vol 50 Issue 17|
We Cover The County...
The Wellington Advertiser encourages letters to the editor.
Congratulations on winning awards at the recent OCNA competition! I am sure the Adsett family deserves the trust people have in this newspaper. There is a large following of readers, even in the nearby counties.
I remember Kelly Waterhouse’s column was chosen as a winner recently. Years ago my own paper in Eramosa won several awards - but it was Bill Adsett who had supported me in my wish for a local paper for Rockwood-area news, and thus I am still interested in the Adsett connection.
Also, people love your Letters to the Editor page and people tell me when my mail is used (which helps my ego).Sytske Drijber, ROCKWOOD
Barn cats available
Cats Pippa, Piper, Kringle, Sphynx, Dapple and Iota are all looking for freedom; they want to live a natural but safe life.
Some of these cats arrived at the Upper Credit Humane Society as transfers from high-kill facilities because of their temperament or as strays. The difference with cats suitable for the barn cat program is that they seem to be unhappy with the shelter confinement; the call of the wild sears through them and they yearn for a less restrictive life but still need caregivers who will feed and make sure they are housed suitably.
UCHS puts in many months of time to try and turn around cats that are deemed to be feral and many of them become domesticated and go on to live happy lives in a family setting. Unfortunately for these cats who have been with us for 4-6 months in our open free roaming rooms, they are still not suitable for home adoption.
These lovely cats are now searching for a home that is outdoors where they are not confined but have the warmth, food and another companion cat to bond with and are housed safely.
Would your farm, workshop or acreage benefit from a barn cat? The cats come already spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Even though they have not bonded with humans, they usually love other animals and enjoy their company so where possible we place two together; they make great exterminators for your barn or workshop, they are generally low maintenance, you save a life, you add character to your barn or workshop
UCHS ensures barns have caretakers who feed and water the cats, are warm for the winter and that survival of the cats are top priority.
Please check out our requirements at: http://uppercredit.com/adopt/barn-cat-program.
We do all site visits, provide services for containment areas and provide set up supplies at no cost. Donations specifically for the barn cat program are appreciated. Please call the Shelter at 519-833-2287 or e.mail firstname.lastname@example.org.Judith-Anne Kolu,
Don’t be distracted
I think that distracted driving is one of the most very important issues that happen in this world.
There can be many ways to get distracted while driving but the most important one is texting and/or calling while driving. Some people lose very important people in their lives because of this issue.
For an example, I once watched a PSA video where a teenager was driving through an intersection without stopping, when there was oncoming traffic and he got hit by a car and was paralyzed for life.
There can be many ways to solve this issue but I could only think of one, that solution is by turning off your phone all the way or putting it on silent so that you can’t hear or see the call that you get or any text messages that other people send to you.
In Ontario it will cost you a $490 fine if you get caught being distracted while driving and three demerit points. Don’t be too distracted while you are driving.Lisa DeWitt, FERGUS
Distracted driving is very bad.
It causes lots of deaths and serious injuries and damage to property and other things. Many things are considered distracted driving: texting, eating, reading, grooming and even talking to people.
If you’re doing that you could get a ticket or you could get your car suspended for a long time or a $2,000 fine or worse, go to jail. If you’re in the front passenger seat don’t talk to the driver. Turn off your ringer, maybe eat before you go ,or if its an urgent call or text, ask a passenger to answer it for you.
All in all, don’t drive distracted.Henry Jacob Dibben, FERGUS
Grow the Greenbelt
April 22 marked the 15th anniversary of a bold move that signaled a sea change in the public perception of the countryside – from an area of development-in-waiting to one where rural communities and natural functions were valued and protected.
The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, released on Earth Day 2002 was the cornerstone piece in an emerging “smart growth” movement. It is hard to believe, but just two decades ago ideas like stopping urban sprawl and protecting water supplies were considered radical.
Our movement was solidified in February 2000 as developers and the Town of Richmond Hill were set to pave over the last remaining moraine lands along Yonge Street. This sprawling development would have totally cut off the natural east-west connectivity and compromised the moraine’s ecological integrity. The proposal proved to be the spark that ignited protests downstream, through communities across the GTA. By December 2001, the Oak Ridges Moraine Act was passed through an all-party, unanimous vote in Ontario’s Legislature. This was the watershed moment for the movement to protect the water, nature and communities of the entire region.
Decades earlier, the movement to protect the Niagara Escarpment demonstrated the need for provincial oversight of regional planning.
Building off regional approaches to planning pioneered on the Niagara Escarpment and Oak Ridges Moraine, came the much larger Greenbelt in 2005. The Greenbelt knit together the ecological jewels of the escarpment and the moraine, adding protection to agricultural land and a natural system of wetlands, forest and valley lands surrounding the GTA.
The Greenbelt, currently spans nearly 2 million acres, is a inspired vision for the region. These plans were intended to protect the region’s most valuable natural and agricultural resources, and stop ever expanding urban sprawl across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. This bold vision for the region is a testament to the bold thinking of three different provincial governments and dedicated activists spanning decades.
However, it is becoming painfully obvious that the bold vision of the last decades will not be enough for the decades ahead. Urban sprawl has leapt over the Greenbelt, threatening farmland and natural lands in areas including Brant, Simcoe, Waterloo and Wellington counties. Currently, hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural land that provide essential ecological services are slated to be developed over the next 20 years. Sprawl marches on.
In the same spirit and tradition that brought forward protection for the Oak Ridges Moraine, Niagara Escarpment and Greenbelt, a new wave of activists are calling for provincial intervention to protect other moraine systems across the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
As we celebrate the legacy of 15 years of Oak Ridges Moraine protection we are urging the government to pick up the baton to plan for the future. In the coming weeks we will see whether the government will grow the Greenbelt to protect vulnerable water supplies.Debbe Crandall and Caroline Schultz,
I am a Grade 6 student at John Black Public School. Lately I have been interested in littering and I want to inform you that it needs to stop.
Littering, it’s happening all around us… it’s is becoming a very serious situation. It’s ruining habitats and hurting animals. People probably don’t realize but littering can also affect us. What I mean by this is we are breathing in all the waste and some of that could have chemicals or bad bacteria.
Also when waste gets into the water it will spread and go all over the world; we not only swim in water we also drink it. Imagine if some of that water got into our pipes! Finally, it is affecting animals the most. It has killed thousands of animals and it is destroying habitats.
What I don’t understand about littering is, Why?
Why do we do it, how is it benefiting us? Why can’t we just take a few more seconds to throw your garbage out/recycle it? We are putting our world in jeopardy! Our world could be so much different so make a change! Stand up for our community, our country, and our world.
I hope that after this letter people will think twice about throwing their garbage out the car window. Stop littering!Grace Ashdown, FERGUS
Recently Erin council addressed an issue that proved to be somewhat contentious, and in my view unnecessarily so.
What was essentially the crux of the issue was Nestlé Waters Canada wanting to provide the town with a financial contribution based upon the amount of water they draw from a well located in Hillsburgh. Nestle has been drawing water from this well since 2001, having been given approval to do so by the province of Ontario.
As readers will be aware, the town doesn’t have the authority to tell the province what to do - it’s most typically the other way around. The only way to stop companies like Nestlé from bottling our groundwater is if the province stops the long-established practice.
I have been informally polling members of the community on this issue during my travels for weeks. After speaking to many residents, there were two aspects that appeared to stand out: either residents were entirely unaware of the issue, or they were overwhelmingly in support of accepting Nestlé’s offer. Those that were aware understood that the issue isn’t about the town approving the selling of water – it’s about getting something from a major corporation when in real terms we aren’t entitled to anything under the law.
A number of well-informed local residents attended our council meeting where we discussed the issue, while an overwhelming number were admittedly from out of town. I would like to extend my personal thanks to the residents of Erin who took an interest in the matter, showed up at our meeting and conducted themselves responsibly and with dignity.
It’s not always easy to stay calm and level-headed when emotions are involved, but I am heartened by the actions of the residents of our great town who demonstrate time and again why this is one of the best communities to live, work, and raise our families.
For me, it validates my choice to move here decades ago, and speaks to why people continue to want to call Erin home.Mayor Allan Alls, ERIN
I think that Fergus needs more skateparks. The skatepark, during the summer, is really busy, so that is why Fergus need more skateparks. Here are some ideas we could do.
Make an indoor skatepark, the advantage of having an indoor skatepark would be that people may go more, and on rainy days you could still go.
I like to go but it is really far from my house so I don’t go that often - so you could make one on the other side of town.
Jaxon Dundas Boyd,
I am a John Black Public School student and one of my main concerns - not just our community, but all over the world - is the use of modern technology.
The problem isn’t that we use the technology, the problem is that we use it too much and way too often. What about the television, tablets, phones, and computers? Do we really need them in our everyday life?
Before, kids went outside and hung out with their friends and played sports for entertainment. Now, we all sit around watching TV and scrolling through our phones, even when you hang out with your friends.
Another issue this brings on is the loss of jobs; we won’t need mail men and women with all the online messaging and phone calls. With all the news apps and websites, the newspaper industry is becoming less and less popular. A lot of CD and DVD companies and stores have closed.
I’ve grown up with the modern technology and now I’m becoming obsessed with my devices and I’m finding it more and more hard to put my devices down.
School isn’t helping either; we do a lot of our work on computers and cell phones.
Are these updated devices really an advantage for our daily lives or are they a disadvantage?Madison Clark, FERGUS
The milk question
The U.S. enjoys a $445 million trade surplus with Canada in milk products. Milk can be divided into two basic products: milk we drink (fluid) and everything else (cheese, yogurt, ingredients in processed food [ice cream, cake mix, etc.] and so on). NAFTA treats these two classifications separately.
Class 7 milk (ultra filtered) crosses the border duty free. A Canadian processer decided to buy Canadian and 75 U.S. farmers did not get their contracts renewed. Complaints were made that Canada changed the regulations. No changes have been made.
The quota system in Ontario tries to balance production with demand. The U.S. has surplus and dumped over 1,000,000 litres of milk last year. Unlike most Ontario dairy farms that are family owned with about 70 cows being milked, the U.S. is moving to large corporate farms with as many as 30 to 40 thousand lactating cows on individual farms. The largest dairy farm in Ontario has roughly 1,000 cows.
This unregulated growth is driving the small producer out of the market - not trade with Canada. The trend in dairy farms is to use a system in which the cows are free to wander in to an automated milk parlor at anytime. No employees are required.
Case and the Autonomous Tractor Company have developed tractors with no cab that will drive to the field, do the required task, and work 24 hours per day on its own. Contests like the AgBot Challenge augment industry’s drive to automation.
The U.S. has the highest agricultural subsidies in the world, which also aids in reducing producer costs. Trump’s blaming others will not solve the problems the U.S. has created at home.Chris Woode, FERGUS
Tornadoes can cause billions of dollars in damages each year.
Tornadoes are very strong and at 50km/h, they can knock you off your feet.Connor Anderson, FERGUS
Here’s the question that my parents ask me: do video games help with anything? Yes, they do.
Studies from the University of Toronto shows that people who play more video games tend to have better hand-eye coordination than people who don’t play video games.
It also helps to make people happy and relieve stress. Video games can have positive effects on players of all ages. Games provide a chance to tune out the stress of everyday life.Bryce Macleod, FERGUS
Why not WiFi?
I’m at John Black Public School in Grade 5 and I think we should have WiFi on school buses because kids could work online on their devices. They could be doing homework on the devices but they need WiFi. Also if the school bus broke down you could contact your parents to come and get you.
The kids will also not be desecrated because they’re busy watching YouTube or playing a game. If you don’t have internet at home you could do important stuff on the bus. That is why we need internet on school busses.
They will need to block all the bad websites to make everything appropriate.James Baikie, FERGUS
The reason we should have Wi-Fi on buses is because sometimes you need to share valuable information with your teachers and since they are trying to eliminate phone usage in the school, whatever you need to do, do it on the bus ride.
It also is a sense of joy so you’re not just sitting still doing nothing or sitting out of your seat yelling to your friends who aren’t in your seat (really annoying).
Overall I believe that if there is WiFi on the bus, it will have many positives.Shayne Young, FERGUS
As a member of this community for nearly 20 years, we have worked – and continue to work – responsibly to contribute to the success of Wellington County. Over this time, Nestlé Waters Canada has done a lot of engagement but know there is always an opportunity to do more.
With over 300 employees at our Aberfoyle plant and Canadian head office, our first responsibility is to the Wellington County community – our friends, our families and our neighbours. Not only in terms of providing resources, research, and quality water, but through listening, engaging and supporting our shared values.
Last year, I led a Nestlé global community relations initiative called the Community Relations Process (CRP) where my colleagues and I interviewed residents, politicians, government officials and members of environmental groups across Wellington County.
The community stakeholders challenged us to step up. To do more. And to deliver community-building infrastructure. We have listened.
We are excited to put forward the Erin Community Benefit Fund which was introduced to Erin council and the public in early February. This fund would contribute a minimum of $25,000 a year to the town based on the number of litres of water pumped under our permit. This could increase to as much as $200,000 per year for the community to spend on local projects.
Some members of the community have questioned our intent in creating this fund and we want to take this opportunity to explain why.
Our goal with the Erin Community Benefit Fund is to give back by contributing directly to community projects and initiatives. Municipalities are somewhat limited in their ability create new revenue tools. The Erin Community Benefit Fund would assist by contributing to the quality of life in Erin, where we have proudly operated for 17 years.
I am also committed to continuing conversations through our weekly community open office hours, public information sessions and our upcoming Aberfoyle Community Open House.
I am available to listen and transparently answer questions about our data-driven monitoring program and sustainable operations.
We want to work together – to recycle and renew – and to ensure a healthy, respectful and progressive future for this community.
Because we are not only in the water business, but the business of earning the respect of our neighbours while delivering results for Wellington County.
Dr. Andreanne Simard, PUSLINCH
RE: Penalties, April 7.
Chris Woode’s letter regarding terrible tenants is “right on.”
There is a law in Ontario called “rental fraud.” Tenants are required to honestly fill out a rental application.
Many tenants are very deceptive without legal reprisal, because as I was told by the OPP when I reported a case of fraud for investigation, “Not in this lifetime.”
The Landlord and Tenant Act is ridiculous.Jim McClure, CRIEFF
‘Get on the bandwagon’
I had the pleasure of attending the “Say no to Nestlé” meeting April 12 in Erin and came away with a new outlook on what I have believed all along - but have done nothing about.
Oh yes, I carry a refillable water bottle on most if not all occasions, as do most people who are conscious of the need to preserve our wonderful drinking water, but more needs to be done by us, the public.
More people if not all need to “get on the bandwagon” against the selling off of this natural product as if it will be there forever - no one can prove it either way, so why not work to preserve what is there for now and future generations.
And how does this fit in with terms such as global warming and carbon pricing? I know there will be people out there who will scoff at the idea of worrying about any of the above.
Well if you can prove to me and to the millions who know a lot more than the “scoffers” amongst us, then I’ll change my mind.
But until then I’ll continue to try to conserve as much of what we have naturally as possible.
What about you?Bruce Hood, ERIN
‘It’s your fault’
I am a Grade 8 student and I think distracted driving shouldn’t be allowed. It takes three seconds for something to happen that could change your life forever. You could get into an accident and be paralyzed for life. One person is injured every half hour from a car collision.
I see people all the time with their phone up to their ear, talking and not paying attention to the road. They’re more worried about their conversation than killing someone. Did you know that in 2013 in the U.S, there were 3,154 deaths that occurred because of distracted driving? Almost 424,000 people were injured involving a distracted driver.
Also, 10% of drivers ranging in age from 15 to 19 have been involved in fatal accidents that were reported to have been because of them texting and driving. A driver using a phone is four times more likely to crash than a driver who is actually paying attention to the road. There is a fine for almost $490 if it is being settled in a court for distracted driving. Who wants to pay $490 for something that should have never happened?
It really bugs me when I see people fixing their hair in the mirror or picking an emoji to send to a friend while they’re driving!
There is no excuse for distracted driving. If it happens, it’s your fault.Selena Anderson, FERGUS
‘Soaked in emotion’
RE: Erin council votes to accept Nestlé Waters’ voluntary levy, April 21.
I congratulate the Erin council for accepting, or more accurately, re-instating the Nestlé Waters voluntary levy.
Mayor Allan Alls is correct. The outraged, just-say-no climate lobby is perpetually soaked in emotion while devoid of facts.
By contrast, Dr. Andreanne Simard’s review was based on both historical and technical facts while, thankfully, devoid of emotion.
Personally, I rarely use bottled water as our tap water is clean and will continue to be plentiful. I do keep a large supply of bottled water in our cold cellar.
My advice to the climate lobby is simple: if you don’t agree with bottled water, don’t buy it.Doreen Henschel, ROCKWOOD
‘The right thing to do’
An open letter to the mayor and councillors of the Town of Erin.
I am so hoping that you will all be voting “no” to Nestlé’s “gift” on April 18. I don’t think I have ever felt more strongly or been so sure about any other decision that has been made for our town and I have lived here for 40 years.
It is simply just not the right thing to do. It is nothing but a bribe. I would be so proud of Erin if we could be the little town that stood up to Nestlé and the bottled water industry as a whole.
Besides the fact that it is the only right thing to do, it would make us famous. We would be leaders, giving other communities in Ontario, in Canada and even around the world the confidence to do the same thing.
It seems like such a small thing and I understand the temptation to accept their money but it is a huge, far-reaching thing.
Please be strong and do the right thing. Please vote “no.”Jill Green, ORTON
I am a Grade 8 student at John Black Public School. I strongly disagree with the proposition that we should install WiFi in school busses. The main reason I am opposed to this is that it just sounds idiotic when you think about it. We could be spending thousands of dollars on pointless WiFi that we could be spending on better school lunches, or keeping the school itself in good condition.
If the kids find out their bus has WiFi they could be very quick to abuse it. Kids on the bus could look up things they shouldn’t, or use the WiFi so much that the bill could go off the charts.
To be honest, there isn’t really much point at all to install WiFi on buses. The trips aren’t actually that long, and we have so much to do other than watch YouTube. We can listen to music, talk to friends, play games with friends, and some kids already have data on their phone, so they don’t need WiFi anyway.
We live in a generation that spends their lives on their phones, I would know, I spend my life on electronics as well. So why do we need WiFi in such a pointless place like the bus, when we can get it everywhere else?Louise Turner, FERGUS
Dave Adsett: Base pay and mission critical
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