Mail bag: 01/13/22

‘Enjoy the outdoors’

Dear Editor:

RE: ‘Winter scourge’, Jan. 6.

I can’t believe in today’s environment a single group of individuals has been called out and called names. Really?

Now, if the writer of that letter believes the use of recreational snowmobiles is the sole cause of our environmental issues on this planet – yes, I said planet – as much as our government taxes this country, one small group of people aren’t fixing this issue.

Did not a short time ago I see news about how good the Earth was doing and how clean places were when international (recreational) travel was banned?

But sure, okay, three months a year of recreational snowmobiling is killing the planet I guess?

Get out and enjoy the outdoors any way you see fit – and have fun doing it.

Garrett VanHeeswyk,
Centre Wellington


Connected by humanity

Dear Editor:

Since this wave of COVID hit, I have been thinking a lot about isolation and what it can tell us. I am sure all of us have been having similar feelings of loss and loneliness. I realize that my life has not changed nearly as much as others’ because I am used to being alone, as many seniors are. The days don’t hold much variety for those of us who live by ourselves or who have a partner who is not well.

I am pretty active and so am out for a part of every day, but I have friends who are isolated, and have been, even before COVID. They are retired business people, teachers, paralegals, engineers, interior decorators, bakers. We talk over the phone or with video chat programs. But mainly, most of our time is spent alone.

When I see all the suffering people are going through, even some in Europe demonstrating in the streets against the isolation, I wonder, “Do they realize that they know seniors who live those lives of isolation every day? COVID or no COVID.” I am a pretty introverted person, so it doesn’t impact me so much, but I can see that, whether we like it or not, whether we choose it or not, this society has decided that seniors are of little value.

Even when we are marching with signs against exploitation and for the planet, I sometimes see a younger person looking on, either with annoyance that we are disturbing their peace, or with indulgence for the old folks being so passionate, and see it as cute … the whole message lost to the perception of the old.

Some of us may forget sometimes, we may not be able to climb up to reach the top shelf, we may not be aware of the day of the week or the date, because every day is like the last. Does this sound familiar?

I wonder if, now that COVID is here, younger people can sympathize with the isolation of seniors and understand that no one enjoys being out of touch with the world, wondering when we will be able to see and hug loved ones again, when the warmth of that contact will seep into our bones and make them young, even if for those few moments.

We are survivors, we are strong and wise, so take that from us. Nothing lasts forever.

Take care of your elders, they have the arms to reach around each of us and teach us about being loved. Call them. Make a date for a video visit. Send them flowers, chocolates, a magazine, or good book. Offer to do the shopping, pick up the mail, and when you are going out to do something, remember to ask your elder neighbour if they have a need or want.

We are all connected by our humanity.

Gerry Walsh,


‘Fear mongering’?

Dear Editor:

RE: ‘It can’t be stopped’: Province introduces restrictions, delays return to in-class learning, Jan. 6.

“It can’t be stopped” – are we talking about the fear mongering?

When the latest information shows that Omicron is much less of a health issue, that should be good news. Months ago, from South Africa, doctors were recommending to be cautious of the new variant but not to panic. Well, the words coming from politicians and health authorities tend to be anything but calming.

The life history of a virus spread has a common factor that with mutations the virus becomes more transmissible but less of a health risk. In some cases, the severity of virus continues from the onset but this has not been the case with COVID. All the buzz phrases of “flatten the curve,” “crush the virus,” “eradicate COVID” and the policies that were put in place to do so, have left many more questioning how all this is being handled.

I would like to see our leaders be more careful in the words they use to reassure us and provide confidence in their ability to make the right decisions in situations, such as we are in now.

The highest risk factors are obesity, advanced age, diabetes, and comorbidity or underlying health issues, the same as at the beginning of March 2020. That is where the problem first showed itself and where the focus should still be.

Let healthy people live a normal life with some common sense caution to the situation.

Michael Thorp,
Mount Forest


EMS ‘miscue’

Dear Editor:

On Dec. 18 at 1pm I had a severe accident, I nearly severed my left thumb with my table saw. Stupidly, I had removed the guard! I came to the house hand wrapped in a towel bleeding profusely and asked my wife to call 911.

She did so giving our complete address and fire code. She was passed on to the second person giving the same information, this person said “we don’t cover that area!” Now a third person same information given, “can’t find you!”

Now at this time I said cancel the call, she did, I drove myself eight miles in a snow storm to Palmerston and District Hospital, where I was treated with care by a great nurse and doctor for three hours.

While away my wife gets a call from 911 the person say’s “does your husband have a cell phone, if so tell him to pull off the highway and we will get him from there.” Can not find my address but will find me on a highway in a snow storm?

Monday morning my first call was to my fire chief in Kenilworth. My first question was, “If I give you my fire code number can you find me?” “Of course,” was his reply. I related the above and he gave me the name and number of the manager of EMS for this area.

I called this manager related my story, he immediately said the EMS’ response was unacceptable! He would look into it and would relay all information to the head of EMS Ontario. When a call goes out to 911 it can be picked up by North Bay, Cambridge or even London. They all should dispatch my local nearest ambulance from Arthur, Drayton or Listowel. He is to get back to me.

Bear in mind the accident was serious but not life threatening – if it had been I would be dead for sure! Every time there is a miscue everyone blames COVID – not so. Our politicians use these excuses to cover their tracks with cutbacks to save the almighty dollar.

In short, someone should lose their job over this fiasco for sure!

Don Slote,
Wellington North


‘Climate alarmism’

Dear Editor:

RE: Reverse course (Dec. 9) and Our planet is dying (Dec. 16).

  Considering all aspects of the electric vehicle (EV) as a “saviour” for our planet is important.

Emissions figures: a new EV has already caused 30,000 pounds of CO2 emissions, while for a new gas vehicle it is 14,000. After that the EV’s zero-emissions claims depend on how the electricity to recharge the battery is generated: if nuclear energy, great; if coal, oil, gas, not good. Think also of the emissions needed to rewire our grid to accommodate millions of cars plugging in at night.

Millions of EVs around the world lead to more crashes, more fires, more battery guts spilled into the environment. Will Third World countries even recycle them as it is dangerous and expensive?

  Put cobalt aside and look at lithium (the main element in EV batteries) extraction: it takes 500,000 gallons of water to extract 1 metric ton of lithium; any leakage (which happens regularly in China) kills fish and any animal that drinks it. In Chile, a mine there used up all the local water supply. Water has to be trucked in for the local people. How does that reduce emissions? Also, lithium extraction causes soil and air contamination along with mountains of discarded salt.

  The scary part of all this is that the countries where these materials are mined are afflicted by corruption, poor human rights and virtually no environmental standards. Do we want to depend on China, Africa and Latin America for our personal transportation?

I don’t think we should subsidize EVs or the fossil fuel industry; they have to sink or swim on their own.

It is patently ridiculous to say our planet is dying.

  Our county and municipalities will no doubt be brainwashed by climate alarmism into buying EVs. We should understand that these super-expensive vehicles will not make much difference in reducing CO2. The only result will be higher taxes.

Jane Vandervliet,


Favourite things

Dear Editor:

Being that we are in a new calendar year, there are three things I would like to highlight on why I love to live in Guelph/Eramosa. Although I’ll start with I think it is time the township stop allowing massive tree removal. The trees are too important to the watershed and so many other things, but I will move on.

I would like to highlight the Rockwood Post Office. You are more than a post office, you are great people. Parkinsons’ corn and pumpkins, we love you; you are the best. And finally I commend the roads department for their quick response in the removal of dumped debris.

Thank you and happy new year.

Wendy Martin,



Dear Editor:

I want to give my heart felt gratitude to all,

Those my dear friends who sent cards or made a call.

My cupboard is far, far from bare,

Many thoughtfully chosen gifts are  all stretched out there.

I just can’t say enough, but I do wish I could share!

Never mind, when  the next year comes around,

Crabby old COVID will have slipped away without a sound;

And we will be together again.

What a great whoop-de-doo, we’ll all have then!

Sytske Drijber,


Highway dangers

Dear Editor:

Truckers for Safer Highways would like to thank all those who have supported us in 2021 in our efforts to improve the trucking industry. We hope that we continue to have their support as we enter 2022.

To those of you who are hearing or reading about us for the first time, we are a small but determined group of professional truck drivers with the goal of drastically improving the safety of all who use our highways. We spend the majority of our lives on these highways and see more than anyone the many growing problems developing on our highways.

We believe the public are at a high risk of injury or death each time they enter a major transportation route within Canada. There are more inexperienced drivers on our highways than experienced. Unfortunately that issue is compounded with rapidly changing weather conditions and overconfidence and poor judgment in making safe choices while operating commercial vehicles.

People are dying on our highways. The public is in more danger now on the highways than ever! We need solid solutions followed by swift action and so far we have seen very little of either from any of our government representatives.

Recently Michael Mantha, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin, has reached out to us in an effort to assist us, we look forward to working with him.

Travis McDougall,
Trucker’s For Safer Highways,