Today's date: Thursday February 22, 2018 Vol 51 Issue 08
   
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The Wellington Advertiser encourages letters to the editor.
You may, if you wish, submit your letter online.

Anthem changes

Dear Editor:

It is a shame that again the Canadian national anthem is changed just to satisfy a few, with the excuse to make the anthem gender neutral.

O Canada was written by Robert Stanley in 1908 and altered in 1914 by the author. And it has be changed a few more times.

The anthem of the Netherlands, the oldest anthem in the world, was written between 1566 and 1572 by Philips van Marnix van Sint Aldegonde or Dirck Volckertszoon Coornhert.

The anthem has 15 verses and only one or sometimes two verses are sung.

But never since it became the national anthem in 1932, has there been a change in the wording.

John van der Doe, FERGUS

Bullying, harassment

Dear Editor:

I am a grade 8 student at John Black public school in Fergus. I have noticed around my school that children are engaging in games that are based on rating and judging people on their physical appearance. This game is called “smash or pass.” It basically involves people saying someone’s name out loud and then another person says if they would engage in sexual contact or simply not.

Many YouTubers out there also play this game, which is partly the problem of why students all ages are “rating” and hurting others’ feelings.

By playing this game it is considered bullying, and is sexual harassment - and if found you could be charged. I think rating others by the way they look is truly not the way to go and can cause harm to others if they get a result they did not want to receive.

Personally, I think YouTube should remove all of the videos based on this topic and that could reduce the influence the game has on kids.

Britni Preet, FERGUS

Business, industry folly

Dear Editor:

RE: The letter by Scot McLeod, (Wastewater plans, Feb. 15).

Out here in the rural part or the hinterlands, we have large lots and have our own wells and septic systems. My neighbour several years ago replaced his at a cost of about $30,000. I hope that Mr. McLeod does not think that out here we expect to see any of that cost on our property tax bills for the plant. When our septic or wells go the Town of Erin does not contribute a penny to have a new one installed. This plant is for the people in town and the new home developer.

As for people thinking about their pocketbook, I am glad he thinks $20,000 to $30,000 plus other costs and yearly fee is chump change. The developer loves it since he will put the cost onto his new homes and not pay a penny. Also the developer can stuff more houses on the lots just like in Brampton. Less houses less profit for him.

The gravel pit loves it; they suck out the gravel make a big profit and then sell the land for a good price. If the town did not purchase the land the gravel operator would have the cost of restoring the land to some sort of environmental state.

Out here we have paid from our taxes part of the millions for all these endless studies and not complained, but don’t expect us to okay putting it on our tax bill.

I did send a list of questions to Mayor Allan Alls and the other councillors. The only one that kindly replied was the mayor to state that the project needed federal and provincial money and also that no one in the rural part would see it on their tax bill. I am just writing to make that point clear.

As for more business and industry, I don’t see that. I lived in a town the size of Erin in Massachusetts. We had a few light industries, but the bottom line is we were a bedroom community. People worked in Boston. That is what Erin is. Also in real terms more homes won’t be a win-win, since more OPP will be needed, maybe a new fire hall, road crews and other items. There will be no vast new pot of money.

Jim Trautman, RR1 ORTON

Cannabis tax grab

Dear Editor:

I am 13 years of age and I receive my education at John Black PS.

I feel that a lot of people are doing anything for money these days, even the government.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has set a date in 2018 to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

In my opinion I think the whole thing is one big taxing operation. I mean they’re giving the people what they want.

But otherwise the profits go to the government, transfers to our health care and economy. So really in the end it’s not that bad.

I also think that the age limit is reasonable for the situation, but it’s up to the provinces; they get to choose what the age limit for it and how it can be used.

I don’t really like the idea, but it’s up to you. I hope that you have been educated by my opinions and I want to hear your opinion on the new marijuana laws.

Nolan Roberts, FERGUS

Chilifest success

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the clients, staff and volunteers at the Community Resource Centre, I wish to extend our appreciation to our community members, businesses and agencies for your support of Chilifest this year.

The hall at the Fergus Legion was packed with hundreds of people enjoying themselves, many of whom have been to a number of Chilifests over the years.

This program serves those most in need in our community. If you recall the Vital Signs project illustrated that two in 12 children in our public schools live in poverty in Centre Wellington.

Our staff serve over 400 households in Centre Wellington and another 400 plus in Wellington North, Minto and Mapleton.

Your support through attending, prize donation and sponsorship is so helpful in our work, however the inspirational support shown by your enthusiasm at Chilifest is just as important.

Thank you to our sponsors: Scotiabank, Zehrs, the Fergus Legion and the Wellington Advertiser.

Thank you for all your encouragement and good wishes.

 

 

Ron MacKinnon,

Classroom distractions

Dear Editor:

 I am a Grade 8 student from John Black. In many schools there are distracted students in the classrooms. Not paying attention or being distracted in class can impact your education significantly. Even one student talking or doing things takes others off task.

I’ve seen many students playing with fidget toys and distracting themselves and everyone around them watching them. How can we stop this? I think we can solve this problem through more strict seating plans for all classes that need it, and we could address inappropriate behavior right away and stop giving so many chances.

The most distracting thing in this day and age is our phones. On average each student checks their phone 35 times during the school day when they should be working. All of this distraction brings your grade average down. Please pay attention in class and ignore people who are trying to distract you.

Justyss Hewitt, FERGUS

Distracted bus drivers

Dear Editor:

 I am a Grade 8 student at John Black PS. I think a problem in our community is distracted bus drivers. In my opinion this is a huge issue because buses are carrying 20 or more students everyday.

It’s not so much the bus driver’s fault; when kids are going to school or coming home they can often be excited to be with their friends or just full of energy in general.

On a Friday afternoon I’m sure that everyone in this community is pumped to get home, but when you’re a little child you are especially excited. The children like to play and jump or sometimes even scream, which, when the bus driver has to turn away from the road and tell them to stop, can really be distracting.

To fix this problem we could have bus monitors or supervisors. Older and more responsible students will be the monitors so the bus driver can focus on taking us from and to school.

To me, when I am on the bus it can be frightening when the bus driver has to pay attention to the road and the children. Hopefully we find a way to fix this problem to better our great community of Centre Wellington!

Martina Johnson, FERGUS

Fail them

Dear Editor:

I go to John Black Public School. I’m writing about the idea of not failing students in elementary school.

I know that they can fail students in high school, so why not in elementary? One thing I notice, for example, is that some students are not at the learning level of the grade they are in. Some struggle with reading and math, and other subjects. If they repeated a grade they would have more time to practice and get up to the next grade level.

I think your learning shouldn’t be so much about friends, it should be about the academics. If you are not up to the grade level you are at in high school you will fail, so you would have to retake the course anyway.

Students should be taught at their own level as opposed to moving on whether they are ready for it or not.

Rosie McDougall,, FERGUS

Fan of field trips

Dear Editor:

I’m 12 years old and I go to John Black Public School.  

I think there should be more field trips in school because it provides more education for all grades 8 and under. Field trips are a better way of giving kids education, because it is fun and safe and it gives kids a chance to make friends.

One field trip that I would like to go on would be a trip to Camp Brebeuf. At camp you learn how to do archery, ropes courses, canoeing, rock climbing and mapping. I think that these are things that you don’t get to do at school.

I think going on trips is a better and more effective way to learn. Go tell a principal you know to start booking more trips.

Chloe Anderson, FERGUS

Get rid of gobies

Dear Editor:

Round gobies - this invasive specie is in the Grand River and many other places. Round gobies are saltwater tolerant fish but they adapted to fresh water. Round gobies are very bad because they eat trout eggs and many other fish eggs.

They are native to the Black and Caspian seas in Eastern Europe. It was first found in North America in 1990 in the St. Clair River North of Windsor.

Round gobies are usually seven to 15cm long. When you catch a round gobie, you are not supposed to throw it back in the water. You can throw it on the bank or step on it - just do not throw it back in the water.

Brian Morrison, FERGUS

Ignoring the environment

Dear Editor:

I joined the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario because I wanted a say in choosing the next leader of the party. But whom do I choose?

All three are against a carbon tax, and there is no evidence that any of them have a plan to address climate change. That means they are all for more floods, more droughts, more forest fires and more extreme weather events. Have they not heard the scientists say the climate is close to the tipping point?

Do they not listen to the economists who say the most efficient, socially just, and transparent way to reduce GHG emissions and wean us off fossil fuels, is to apply a steadily increasing fee on carbon and return all of the proceeds equally to all of the people in Ontario?

I want a leader who is concerned about providing a livable world for my children and grandchildren. That choice is not available in the PC party.

 

 

Ron Moore, HILLSBURGH

Legal and moral right

Dear Editor:

RE: The recent letter entitled No right? (Feb. 1) calls for a response.  

I am a mother of two planned children, grandmother of two, and great grandmother of one.  I was born and raised in this democracy with free health care started in 1958.

This is 2018 AD, not 1018 AD.  

We’re in the First World, not the church-dominated world of our foremothers. Yes, women have the legal right and the moral right to early abortion as part of public health care. No other person may deny that care. The decision should be the woman’s alone.

It confounds me that others who are not personally involved or personally harmed feel they have the right to dictate the actions of others.

Helen Hansen, GUELPH

Marijuana money

Dear Editor:

I’m a student at John Black Public School, and I’m writing about Canada’s new legalization of marijuana.

I disagree with legalizing it because lots of people will take advantage of it when they shouldn’t be. I wonder if the government gets their money from marijuana and will do good things with it?

I hope they can use the money to lower prices of food, or cost of living, or help people get treatment who are addicted. I’m hopeful they will do good things with money they earn from marijuana.

Brady Cox, FERGUS

Pay, benefits

Dear Editor:

I’m a student at John Black. I am writing about the new minimum wage laws.

If you didn’t hear it yet, the government is raising minimum wage to $14 per hour and next year they are going to raise it to $15/h.

Although many people are happy about the minimum wage raising by $2.40, people that work for Tim Hortons are not as happy because they took away benefits such as paid breaks.

What do you think of this issue? I think it is good to be paid more for the work that you do. I can understand how the owners feel, but I know it is good for the workers.

I don’t think Tim Hortons should take away breaks and other benefits.

Evan Campbell, FERGUS

Protect the pandas

Dear Editor:

I am a student at John Black and I would like to tell you about the red panda. The red panda is not a relative of the giant panda; it is more closely related to a fox, raccoon or a weasel.

Red panda is actually not its real name; its name is the lesser panda. The name panda is there because the red panda eats bamboo. The lesser panda is a omnivore and eats mostly bamboo but sometimes eats bug and fruit.

Now a sad fact is lesser pandas are endangered they are endangered because of deforestation and loss of habitat. This small mammal is losing its home, and their food sources are being destroyed so think about that next time you see a bamboo product.

A red panda weighs about 3.7 to 6.2kg. The red panda lives mostly in trees as well as China or in zoos across the world.

Red pandas tweet, they don’t tweet in 140 characters like you or I do, but they tweet nonetheless. Actually, to be accurate, the sound they make is known as “twittering.”

I hope you have learned something from this and donate to the red panda society.

Makenna Polsterer, FERGUS

Put phones down

Dear Editor:

I am writing to you to try and help make our community a better place. The topic I am concerned about is cell phones in restaurants. I believe that cell phones make our lives easier, except they do have some negative impacts.

I think that cell phones should be banned from some Fergus restaurants. Restaurants are a place where you spend time with family and friends - I’m not talking about online friends! When you are out for a meal you shouldn’t be scrolling through Instagram. Instead, you should be talking with the people around you. Did you know that cell phones actually cause you more stress, a shorter attention span, and interfere with relationships?

When you are out for dinner and checking your texts, how do you think the other person feels? A proponent to my topic, is the Petit Jardin, a restaurant in France. They forbid cell phones as they want people to focus more on food and conversation.

“People accept having to turn their cell phones off in movie theaters, so why not restaurants?” said the owner. The Petit Jardin wants to create a friendly environment.

Don’t get me wrong, cell phones have their place; they are important for communication and emergency situations. However, next time you are out for a meal, instead of looking at your Instagram likes, enjoy the good food and company in front of you!

Grace Ashdown, FERGUS

Say not to WiFi

Dear Editor:

I’m a Grade 7 student at John Black Public School. WiFi? On school buses? What! No way! Pretty cool, right? That would be awesome!

Actually, it wouldn’t.

A school bus is a way to interact with your friends. Why would you add WiFi? I’m sorry, but no. You’re on the school bus for at least 15 to 40 minutes a day. Can’t you last that much time without WiFi? You don’t need to be on WiFi 24/7.

A bus is a way to get home, it is not an Apple store. Wifi shouldn’t be your life. On the bus you should talk, get your head out of that screen, and have fun with your friends. You may say that the bus driver will be happy, we’ll be quiet, but that’s not the point.

So, don’t add WiFi to school buses - you should know in your heart it’s not a good idea.

Lois Bowley, FERGUS

Seeing Starbucks

Dear Editor:

I am a student at John Black Public School. I am here to tell you my point of view on why we should have a Starbucks.

Have you ever found yourself driving to Guelph and wondering why we don’t have a Starbucks in Fergus? I think that Fergus needs a Starbucks - some reasons are that people are turning to Guelph. However, pollution caused by cars is not suitable for our environment.

A Starbucks in Fergus would make a decent amount of money due to all of the people that drive to Guelph to get Starbucks. As Fergus is getting more significant and people from bigger and smaller communities are moving to Fergus for the modern appearance, I feel that’s Starbucks would make a better selling point to people that move from places with a Starbucks.

Others may think that we can go without it, but in my point of view it would be beneficial for our town. A good spot for a Starbucks would be near the high school or downtown.

I moved from Guelph to Fergus and noticed that in a smaller town there is a lot of stuff that we could add to make our town a fun place.

A Starbucks would be a highlight of our town for teens and adults. I feel that we could add one more coffee shop and Starbucks would make a good fit in our town.

 

Hailey Pegelo, FERGUS

Tim’s talk

Dear Editor:

RE: Businesses not bullies, Feb.1.

The porthole though which we assess and evaluate others is very different indeed. Under the gun of a financially disparaging situation life is too often a recipe for mental health issues. Stress, anxiety; everything is on the line when desperate choices are dictated by a lack of means.

By walking a mile in someone’s shoes we see life through their feelings, their perspective. Putting myself in the high-stress, low-pay job of a Tim Hortons or franchise employee, I can’t help but feel for their plight.

Many CEOs, as per Undercover Boss, can’t come close to the performance aptitude and time-juggling required by the ‘lowly’ employees.

Walking a mile in the shoes of privilege is a piece of cake. Tim Hortons owners, according to 2008 stats, earned salary levels between $265,000 and over $400,000. Nice cake. Nice icing.

Money buys power and power makes money, is the age-old truism. More and more are left out of the loop. By Jan. 2 CEOs made as much as the average employee would make in a whole year. Ron Joyce Jr., whose name is on the letter reducing Tim benefits for his workers, clocks in at $1.4 billion.

I hoped Tim’s would respond telling us, as far as Fergus and Elora go, their employees are valued and appreciated as humans. That’s the bottom line in a nutshell. What humanizes and what dehumanizes going forward? At the end of the day some of us have a bigger cross to bear.

After teaching secondary school for 25 years I came to recognize the only students who don’t know how to push a broom are students who don’t like to be bossed around. The incredibly lazy and entitled teen you talk about often comes from families with wealthy grandparents and a lot of clout in schools. Your reference to “recent immigrant learning the language” as an employer challenge makes sense.

You also mention Wynne’s Liberals. I have gained some respect for the Liberal leader just recently. But for me it is all theatre. These are professional politicians. They are actors. They are not representatives of the people. I hate them for representing an idea of Democracy removed from its underpinnings.

I can’t believe after living several decades in this area that so many old codgers like myself don’t get it yet. You have to be willfully blind not to see gross indifference; on both sides of the line in the sand.

David Courtney, RR5 BELWOOD

Trampoline talk

Dear Editor:

We are 12 years old and we go to John Black Public School, and we think that we need a trampoline park in Fergus. They are fun, and people spend too much money on gas taking their kids to the closest trampoline park, which is in Guelph.

Why go to Guelph? We should have one in Fergus, and if there is no room we can take down a building, like one of the cheap dollar stores.

Or use the old Groves hospital site, which is a good idea in our opinion because we don’t think anyone will be using it soon, and it will be a good way to spend your or your kid’s birthdays. It would be a great place to release energy and get exercise.

Some people might not have trampoline in their yard so they can go to the trampoline park. In conclusion, Fergus could use a trampoline park and there are many places to put it in town.

Abdullah Jan and Kaden Knight, FERGUS

Wants WiFi

Dear Editor:

I think there should be WiFi on buses, but you should have to pay a little extra to ride it. I think there should be WiFi on buses because you can use it to communicate with people and people can do work that they need to finish.

If you did not have any data and needed to contact your parents then you would need to have WiFi to talk to them. The bus drivers should also get more money so it makes everyone happy.

I think having WiFi on the buses would be really helpful to everyone and would definitely not be a waste of time and money. I think you would get better bus drivers and better service if they are getting paid really good money. All of the money the kids give to pay for WiFi would go to the bus driver.

But the bus companies who want to have WiFi on the buses and get paid more have to pay for the WiFi. Although the bus companies would get paid way more than the average would.

Sarah Crawford, FERGUS

Wastewater plans

Dear Editor:

RE: Residents heckle consultants, decry costs at wastewater meeting, Feb. 8.

I attended the Feb. 2 meeting at Centre 2000 for the proposed wastewater treatment system for our town. It is interesting that the article headline for the meeting uses the words “heckle” and “decry” - rather sensational words for an information meeting about the proposed project for Erin.

I think the reporter probably received the impression that those with the loudest voices at the meeting represented the voice of everyone at the meeting. However, not all of us are against this project for our community. Some people do not feel comfortable standing up in front of a group or may need to process the information provided at a meeting to reach a conclusion that is best for their situation and conscience.

It would seem that most of those who spoke at the meeting had already made up their mind about their response to the proposed project. Their pocket books and the status quo were the top priority in their minds.

In particular I would like to address the following:

- “one man yelled, ‘Just leave us alone.’ He has a ‘perfectly good, working system’ in place.” Can he guarantee his neighbour also has a “perfectly good, working system?” If he needs to replace his “perfectly good, working system” due to age or malfunction, can his property support a new system and is he in a position to make the change?;

- Ed Delaporte asked about the “impending doom” on the environment that required the town to go through the process. I am not sure how long Delaporte has lived in Erin, but as a fifth generation resident, I can see the writing on the wall. We can not continue to be satisfied that the status quo – private septic systems – will safely handle the pressure of our modern lifestyle. The sheer quantity of grey water that we are pumping into our septic systems is mind boggling. So yes, there is an environmental impact with the present system. To ignore it is to play ostrich; and

- I would like to commend Jim Holmes on having the initiative to be a voice of reason in the crowd. We have been procrastinating about this for decades and it just keeps getting more expensive with each passing year, not to mention the impact on the environment and the future of this community falls into deeper jeopardy.

After careful consideration and study of the information presented at the meeting and online, I have sent a letter to town council and the mayor voicing my support for the proposal.

I feel strongly that our community can not be satisfied with backyard septic systems any longer. For the safety of our environment and the future of this community and for our children, we must move into this century and treat our wastewater collectively.

For a community that seems to be very concerned about the taking of water by Nestlé Waters, we do not seem to care about the impact of our own daily actions on the ground water and environment. 

Scot McLeod, ERIN

‘Anything but smooth’

Dear Editor:

RE: Consortium shakes up bus operators, Jan. 19.

It appears that Wendy Dobson of the WDSTS (Wellington-Dufferin Student Transportation Services) seemingly has the bus driver pool under control.

Since the driver’s minimum rate of pay has been mandated by WDSTS, the only thing that may change for the drivers is the name on the side of the bus and their pay stub - as well as the loss of mutual respect and trust they have built with the operations and maintenance staff.

What the WDSTS hasn’t taken into consideration is the current full-time operations and maintenance staff, some of whom have been with the companies long term and have provided years of dedicated service and loyalty. These staff have earned increases and accumulated holidays and other benefits that may be lost if they are forced to start at the bottom once again. Will the new company recruit the current experienced staff, who are familiar with the area, at their current status?

It takes years to assemble a great group of people that work well together, and make a smooth-running operation.

Dobson says she is going to ensure this is a smooth transition. If Dobson had been with WDSTS in 2010, the last devastating blow to the school bus industry, she would realize this transition will be anything but smooth. Eight years ago, after the first full round of RFPs, many local, small operators where crippled. In 2010 the RFP process was to save $661,000 annually. Our taxes have not decreased, so where did $5 million-plus go? Wi-Fi?

Dobson wants “a good pool of operators to help you out if there was an issue.” Years ago, there was a great pool of operators that worked together and helped each other out. This was the team work that was beneficial to the school board, the parents, and the students that we transport. This team work no longer exists do to animosity created between operators by the RFP process.

The school bus industry is a unique part of the transportation industry. Unlike dispatching a truck to California, where dispatch has three days to find the driver a load home, we are doing well to have three minutes to make the correct decision.

Did WDSTS give any consideration to the “small” operators that may have spent $1 million or more on new equipment (buses) last year, due to contract obligations. What are they to do with the equipment now? Sell it at 60% of its depreciated value?

All positions in the school bus industry are equally important. We need to work together as a team to ensure our greatest resource and future, our children, are transported safely.

It is quite discouraging to lose all of this in the event WDSTS can hopefully save a couple bucks.

No longer is the worry of getting put out of work by the competition. Now we are getting put out of work by the school board. WDSTS is messing with the lives and livelihood of many!

Peter Dawson, FERGUS

‘Immoral choice’

Dear Editor:

It’s nothing short of despicable that all three Ontario PC leadership candidates have shown zero courage when it comes to supporting the one tax that will give our kids a fighting chance against the growing threat of climate change.

For all his shortcomings and alleged sexual harassment of teenage girls, at least former leader Patrick Brown understood that a sensibly applied carbon tax can do two things: reduce climate warming greenhouse gases and put more money back into the pockets of the majority of Ontarians.

I hope this politically convenient but immoral choice comes back to haunt each and every one of these so-called leaders.

Liz Armstrong, ERIN

ReliableFord

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Wellington North Guide 2017-2018

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