Today's date: Friday November 24, 2017 Vol 50 Issue 47
   
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The Wellington Advertiser encourages letters to the editor.
You may, if you wish, submit your letter online.

Bring back the bees

Dear Editor:

I am a gardener and keen observer of nature and have been for many years. The sight of bees seemingly disoriented, spinning, unable to fly and finally, dying on the gravel on a beautiful day next to a blooming lavender hedge was very disturbing.

Days before the garden was humming with bees. This happened year after year and then there were no bees to speak of. I realized that this concurred with the growth and other activity in the nearby corn fields. Coincidence? I happen to think not.

I learned that healthy bees have developed strategies to deal with varroa mites in their hives. Yet the results of a study just completed at the University of Guelph points at these mites as the main cause of bee deaths. Readers may not know, but this study was funded by Bayer Crop Science, manufacturer of neonicotinoids.

This does not pass my smell test.

Bees weakened by sub-lethal exposure to neonics eventually collapse. I urge my fellow gardeners to demand “no neonics” labelling on plants next season. Remember, the entire plant from root to tip as it is growing is toxic to all insects for a year or more. Neonics can also remain adhered to soil, creating potential for future contamination.

So do watch what you purchase for your pollinator garden. Bravo to the government of Ontario for taking the first step in reducing neonics and hopefully banning them and their newer derivatives altogether.

The 2017 season was a slight improvement already, as pollinators and butterflies were more visible in my area.

Basia Hanisz, BELWOOD

Damage done

Dear Editor:

How much damage is going to be allowed before the colleges are back to work?

This is not just about one semester. If the courses students are now taking are only offered in the fall, then they will have to retake them next fall. If their current courses are prerequisites for winter courses, then the winter semester is compromised as well.

This means they will be back for a full year, next year. If the student is in their last year, their entry into their career will be delayed by either a semester or a full year.

My husband and I scrimped throughout our work lives to put money into an education savings plan for our son. The plan would have covered his four-year program and he would have come out of college without the debt load that is plaguing many young adults today.

Now where does the money come from?

I read that the Ontario government has set an expectation that a fund will be created to help students who are in need. Will this help be available in 2018-19, if students are forced into returning? Will this fund cover rent, food and transportation costs? Education costs go way beyond tuition.

How much damage has to be done?

Joanne and Bob Mitchell, FERGUS

Likes horse shows

Dear Editor:

RE: Fate of Angelstone hinges on decision by OMB, Nov. 10.

I am hoping that the OMB person finds in favour of Angelstone or at least some compromise decision so that the facility can continue to provide world class horse jumping shows and entertainment.

For enthusiasts in the Guelph, Orangeville, Erin, Milton, Cambridge areas, it is so nice. It attracts competitors at the top of the game.

No admission charge and you’re so close to the action you can hear every breath, snort and grunt of the jumpers as they tour the course. On my first visit this past summer, I asked the jumps were fitted with microphones. You never hear this action at the other two major jumping facilities around here.

Additionally, you hear riders clucking, smooching and speaking encouragement to their mounts as they approach jumps.

The square arena with seats on all four sides has amazing sight lines as well. Everyone is close to the action.

Both times I visited, we were home to Fergus before 9:30pm. The second time, later in the fall, the arena was lit, but the lights were on jacks and cranes and were focused straight down, with negligible light refraction outside the show area.

It would be a shame to lose this equestrian-focused facility in the Headwaters region.

Earl Lennox, FERGUS

Safety first

Dear Editor:

RE: Puslinch Community Oriented Policing committee folds, Nov. 10.

Safe Communities Wellington County (SCWC), a committee under the umbrella of the Police Services Board, is dedicated to helping keep Wellington residents safe.

The success has been due to the collaboration with local municipal groups, such as the Puslinch Community Oriented Policing (COP) Committee for the past five years.  

The recent release of new policing legislation by the province has the goal to modernize policing.  With this in mind, we expect local municipalities will be required to have an advisory group to develop Community Safety and Well-being Plans.  

As such, although sad to have the Puslinch COP committee cease to exist, new local committees of council will be established.  These committees are likely to become part of SCWC, which has been established with a structure, mandate and priorities aimed at harm reduction strategies.

The County of Wellington and its Police Services Board have been anticipating these changes for some time so Safe Communities Wellington County is ready to take on this new responsibility when the Police Service Act becomes law.

We live in a safe community; one of the safest and healthiest in which to live, learn, work and thrive in Canada. We are fortunate to have caring community members and organizations in the county that collaborated years ago to become a designated Safe Community.  

As we wait for the new provincial guidelines of the Community Safety and Well-being Committees, Safe Communities Wellington County will continue to work with our partners and citizens to focus on local priorities that promote safe and healthy behaviours and protect people from harm.  

We are always looking for “Champions in Safety” throughout the county that can join or even be the catalyst in starting a new Safe Communities Group in your community.

Please contact program coordinator Christine Veit at safecwc@gmail.com if you have any questions about Safe Communities Wellington County or if you are interested in volunteering your time.

Gregg Davidson,

Salary solutions

Dear Editor:

Problematic negotiations between Ontario’s community colleges and the union representing teachers is nothing new.

In 1974, as a result of bargaining, teacher contact hours with students were reduced, I believe, to 22 hours per week. At the same time the teachers received a generous wage settlement.

In order to keep within provincial budget allocations the number of non-union administrative personnel was reduced and work was reassigned to remaining staff. The work load became very onerous for those affected, with managers especially exhibiting signs of burn out.

As head of student and faculty services at a college campus, the increased demands led to severe fatigue and my resignation.

Fast forward 40 years and some things have not changed. Again we find a powerful union confronting a supine provincial department of college and universities. With top teacher salaries in excess of $100,000, college administrators have been at a loss how to placate union demands.

Hiring mostly contract teachers at a low rate of compensation with no pension or benefits must have appeared a brilliant idea. Contract teachers have had to reapply for their positions each semester with no job security. One teacher has had to renew her contract 30 times over the years.

The manifest unfairness of a system that buckles under to raw union power is now becoming apparent. Several thousand contract teachers are in effect subsidizing their fat cat union colleagues.

Two things should happen to resolve this.

First, salaries should be gradually increased for contract faculty. As parity is reached the contract system can be ended and proper benefits and pensions be granted to all staff. Secondly, there should be no significant increase in salary of tenured faculty until parity is achieved.

Peter Ellis, FERGUS

Toy drive now on

Dear Editor:

The Christmas season is fast approaching and the Fergus Lions and Reliable Ford are once again preparing to stage our annual Toy Drive in support of the Centre Wellington Food Bank Christmas Hamper Program.

This year the A.O. Smith Company and its employees have decided to assist us by staging their own drive at their location and adding it to the Lions Drive to assist us meeting our goal. We appreciate their support and encourage other employers to join with us in one common goal to ensure no child goes without at this special time of year.

The Fergus Lions Club members met at Reliable Ford in Fergus on Nov. 15 with each member donating a new unwrapped toy, gift certificate, or cash to go along with the club’s $2,000 to help get the drive started on a positive step.

The management and staff of Reliable Ford, who have shared this challenge with the Lions Club since 1998, are providing their showroom equipped with a tree and plenty of space to accumulate the anticipated stash of toys.

The drive will run until Dec. 13, when the Fergus Lions will deliver the toys to the Fergus sportsplex, where food bank volunteers will sort the gifts to go along with the food hamper that will be delivered in time for Christmas.

The Santa Claus parade will be held on Dec. 2 and members of the public are encouraged to bring toys or donations to be picked up along the parade route. Reliable Ford will again provide a vehicle to pick up donations.

The Lions Club would like to thank the media and all the small businesses that allow us the opportunity to display our flyers and support us in so many ways to make sure the drive is once again successful.

The plans have been made, the teams are ready, and now all we need is to have the community support the drive. Each year it is getting tougher to meet our goals of making sure no child goes without. We encourage everyone to help us  as you have done so willingly in the past.

We thank you in advance for your assistance. You will be glad you helped when Santa comes to your house!

See you all at the Santa Claus Parade on Dec. 2 at 1:30pm.

 

 

Gary Waterhouse,

‘Wagon’ says farewell

Dear Editor:

The well known Helen Marucci is retiring from Welcome Wagon.

Founded in 1930, Welcome Wagon is a Canadian-owned, free service for families experiencing a lifestyle change. Whether you are a new homeowner or are simply relocating to a different neighbourhood, packing and moving are just the first steps. Finding your way around town and familiarizing yourself and your family with the local community can be tough.

As a free service, they’re here to help you settle into your new home and neighbourhood.

As a new mom or a newcomer, the transition can be challenging. From hospital visits to home visits, their reps always come bearing free gifts and discounts for newcomers and new parents.

Since April 1998, Helen has met more than 10,000 people in our community. She has visited 4,237 families, which consist of 2,231 newcomer families to Centre Wellington and 2,006 new moms and their babies.

Helen will be missed in her role with Welcome Wagon. She deserves applause for her accomplishments. Congratulations Helen on your retirement!

Suzette Smeltzer, FERGUS

ReliableFord

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Wellington County

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