Mail bag: 04/28/2021

Telling’ behaviour

Dear Editor:

RE: With one councillor absent, Centre Wellington council can’t even pass agenda, April 22.

At the beginning of the April 19 meeting of Centre Wellington’s committee of the whole meeting, councillor Kirk McElwain asked the resolutions attached to an agenda item be broken into two.

He wanted to see the resolutions supporting the County of Wellington’s 10-year capital plan as it related to housing broken away from the resolution to have the Healthy Growth Committee (HGC) report on the shortage of attainable housing in Centre Wellington.

In last week’s Advertiser article, McElwain is quoted as saying he “might have supported attainable housing, too.” This is questionable because he makes it clear when speaking to other media he was not prepared to support having the HGC report on attainable housing.

Mayor Kelly Linton, and councillors Ian MacRae and Neil Dunsmore all recognize attainable housing as an important issue that the township can impact.

It’s shocking to think there was an intention to silence a citizen’s advisory committee, which has no power but to report and make recommendations to council for council’s own consideration. This is tantamount to silencing a citizen.

Perhaps it was also telling something was amiss, when early in the meeting Linton thanked staff for their ongoing efforts to adapt to changes required due to COVID-19 and in a show of appreciation MacRae and Dunsmore applauded while councillors McElwain, Stephen Kitras and Bob Foster sat stone-faced.

Teresa Gregg,


Paid parking panned

Dear Editor:

I was disappointed to read that the new doctors’ offices on Beatty Line are charging for parking.

We are seniors,  not eligible for any pension increase. The price of food has been increasing weekly over this pandemic, gas has increased back to pre-pandemic highs.

We have been avoiding any additional visits such as yearly check-ups just to avoid any exposures to this virus. Does this make sense to charge for parking in a town that is sensitive to our aging population at this time?

I’m not forgetting the non-senior population either. This small town has had many people without work and in most cases they have no benefits, no paid sick time and are struggling to just exist. I’m very disappointed.

Peggy Grominsky,
Maple Leaf Acres,
Centre Wellington


Fan of Zoom classes

Dear Editor:

VON Smart exercise in person classes have been around for a few years.  When the COVID-19 pandemic hit these classes stopped but  were then presented via Zoom.

They have been a blessing to me and countless others for well over a year now.  Their programs are an inspiration for those of us abiding by the social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

Every weekday there are a number of instructors guiding us through exercises at various times so we can choose the time, the speed, the intensity and/or the instructor best suited to our fitness level.  The hour-long class directs us through cardio, strength, balance, breathing and stretching with encouragement throughout.

Each instructor keeps it interesting with a variety of music, routines and combinations, all the while explaining the purpose and benefit of the different positions and repetitions. Occasionally there is a bonus when a family pet enters the room.

Physical movement as well as mental engagement is so beneficial.  The self help directives for proper posture, healthy feet and fall prevention are reminders of what we should be focusing on. I cannot honour these dedicated coaches any more than to encourage others to join these activities.

Kudos and well done to all involved and also the behind-the-scenes contributors for a community service that is truly needed and appreciated in these stressful times.

Kathy Irving,


Ignorant owners

Dear Editor:

I am getting increasingly frustrated by dog owners who are constantly ignoring our leash laws all over Guelph/Eramosa Township.

There are several clearly posted off-leash “dog parks” where people can go and let their dog run free, but the majority of parks and all of the conservation areas are posted as “Dogs must be leashed at all times”, with an additional clearly-marked notice stating that there is a minimum $95 fine for not obeying the leash laws.

I am a responsible dog owner and take my dog for a long walk daily (on a leash) and my dog and I are regularly accosted by dogs that come running up to us. Their owners may be attempting to call them, but on only two occasions in the last month have I witnessed these loose dogs actually having a reliable recall.

There are many people and many on leash dogs that are extremely uncomfortable when a strange dog runs right up to them. It does not matter if your loose dog is friendly or not! If an altercation ensues it is always the fault (and the financial responsibility) of the owner of the loose dog. Dogs are animals and many dogs and people do not enjoy being charged at. This is really simple people: if your dog does not have a 100% recall (such that it returns to you and you can put it back on a leash immediately no matter what the distraction is) then it has absolutely no right to be off leash.

I want our bylaw officers to get out there and start doing their jobs by issuing these tickets! In my experience with the dog owners currently in our parks, there would be anywhere from one to six (at peak times) tickets given out per hour, per bylaw officer.

If the township would assign these bylaw officers to random parks at variable hours, it will generate a tremendous amount of revenue for the township and it will allow the average citizen (and every responsible dog owner) the right to get back to enjoying their parks.

If there are not enough bylaw officers to do this job, then in my opinion, anyone employed by the conservation authority should be empowered to issue tickets in their park. This is very simple if you want your dog to run off leash and you cannot be bothered to educate it fully, then take it to an off-leash dog park.

Your disobedient dog has absolutely no right to be free in public unless it is a clearly marked “dog park”. In addition, as a taxpayer, I expect our local officials to act on this problem and enforce our bylaws before people and innocent animals get injured by loose and disobedient dogs.

Carol Wilm,


Thankful club

Dear Editor:

The Rotary Club of Fergus Elora would like to thank this community for the amazing Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce Award of Excellence nomination under the Community Social Responsibility category.

Rotary is honoured to support and serve our Centre Wellington community.  Service above self, is the Rotary way!

Check out our website ( and follow us on Instagram. Thank you.

Leanne Iravani,
Director community service,
Rotary Club of Fergus Elora


Likes current plan best

Dear Editor:

The Conservatives are very brave. After scorching the Earth around the words “carbon tax”, they have finally decided that pricing carbon is a good idea. Mind you, they are very carefully trying to call their carbon tax by another name, but as they were so fond of saying – it’s still a tax!

My complements to party leader Erin O’Toole. Thanks to him, the Conservatives finally have a plan offering some details on how to address the climate crisis. However, one of the details, the Low Carbon Savings Account (LCSA), is counterproductive. When you burn fossil fuels, the tax will go into your LCSA. In other words, the more you burn, the more you earn. That is not going to lower emissions.

Under our current federal Climate Action plan, an average family gets a rebate of $436 which could be spent as they decided. However, as they burn more fossil fuel, the carbon tax would effectively reduce the amount of the rebate available to spend on other things.

With the Conservative plan, you have to get permission from the government on what you may do with the money sitting in your LCSA – very strange from a party that always calls for less government interference in people’s lives.

Another problem with the LCSA is the two additional levels of administration required. Instead of sending all of the tax to the government, each tax payment has to be sent to a particular individual’s LCSA.

Then, instead of providing a known rebate on individual tax returns, the government has to decide whether the money in each individual’s LCSA is being spent on acceptable climate related items. Sounds like a lot of red tape. Sounds expensive to administer. I prefer the current federal plan much better!

Ron Moore,


Group carries on work

Dear Editor:

On Earth Day, April 22, Save Our Water held an update Zoom meeting with presentations by three of their members as well as one by the mayor. Mayor Kelly Linton talked about how the township is working to ensure drinking water in Centre Wellington is protected.   

Save Our Water wants to thank the many people who attended, asked questions and learned about the water issue.

It has been six years that Save Our Water has opposed a permit at the Middlebrook well. Nestle Waters Canada originally wanted 1.6 million litres of water per day.  The province introduced a municipal veto for amounts over 379,000 litres per day and made protecting municipal drinking water a top priority.

However, the Middlebrook property is now owned by two American investment companies. The township needs a number of new wells including wells in the area near the Middlebrook site. Stay tuned for further developments.

Check and the YouTube channel to access the roughly 70 minute meeting to get up to date on the present situation.

Donna McCaw,


Commendable initiative

Dear Editor:

RE: Service vs. circus, April 15.

Bravo for this initiative described by Curt Hammond in his letter of April 15. More diverse representation on local councils is both positive and crucial as we face difficult decisions related to the infrastructure, design and services that so affect our lives.

Giving potential candidates guidance and a chance to get to know one another ahead of election time is a great strategy: it will encourage good communication and team work.

This is also an opportune moment to thank those “white, middle-aged or older men” who genuinely work hard to make our community stronger. We have no doubt that they embrace this initiative too, and will have valuable experience to share with new and younger candidates.

How fortunate we are to live in a community where we can exchange our views, agree to disagree, and work together to make wise decisions and build a strong foundation for our children and grandchildren.

We certainly want to see this ethos prevail in our elected council.

Sheila and Al Koop,


‘Blood on their hands’

Dear Editor:

My wife and I had been supporters of the Progressive Conservatives for many decades. That ended when Doug Ford won the party leadership as we strongly believed that he was unfit for that role.

In the ensuing election, voters, desperate for change from the incumbent government, rolled the dice and Ford became premier.

Now, sadly, we see the consequences, including mismanagement of a pandemic response on an epic scale, coupled with blatant dishonesty in related communications to the public – the latter made crystal clear by recent public statements by members of the advisory science table.

Ford says that he acts based on the experts advice – clearly untrue! Some 15 months into this pandemic he has only now said he’s going to support paid sick leave for essential workers (having been brought kicking and screaming to that point by widespread public outrage in response to his announcements on April 16).

There were, understandably, similar reactions to his idiotic moves on policing and shuttering of playgrounds and other reasonably safe, healthy outdoor activities.

And where is Health Minister Elliott in all this? She’s either complicit in supporting Ford’s directions, which is bad enough, or worse – has been opposed to them but lacks the courage to say so publicly and resign from cabinet.

Ford will never resign and Ontario will muddle through eventually despite this, but many needless deaths will have resulted from this government’s gross incompetence. They have blood on their hands and next year will be judged by all of us at the ballot box.

Michael Rose,


‘Productive purpose’?

Dear Editor:

RE: Shut it down – for real, April 22.

The April 22 edition contained a letter directing the premier and MPP Ted Arnott to “shut down the province.”  The writer was unequivocal – shut down everything.  It also asserted that the only way the nightmare will end is to expend “every effort and expense to get everyone vaccinated.”

I would urge Ontarians to inform and think for themselves.  One brief example: The International Journal of Infectious Diseases recently published a science editorial entitled Covid-19: A PCR-defined pandemic.  Boring?  Yes – in a way.  Informative and factual?  Absolutely.  Will any of the dogmatists read it?  Not likely.  Please get off Twitter and use the internet for a productive, non-political purpose.

As to shutting the province down, Canadian bankruptcies are already at a five-year high.  The Fraser Institute reported that public sector wages ca. 2019 were about 34% greater than the private sector – where the greatest threat to family security now exists.

Public sector jobs are more secure – in fact, Wellington County non-union staff recently received a pay raise! In contrast, some private sector families have already lost their incomes; in many cases they’re unable to make their mortgage or rent payments.  Some will soon be without property and unable to support their families. In short, they will be destitute and completely at the mercy of the state.

Terence Rothwell,
Wellington North


Carbon tax ineffective

Dear Editor:

Re: ‘Effective’ tool, April 22

Ron Moore is an avid supporter of the Liberal carbon tax, but where is the evidence that it works to lower carbon emissions? British Columbia has had a carbon tax since 2007, with the goal of reducing emissions by 33% by 2020, but they have actually increased by 6% by 2018, the latest year for which data is available.

As for Erin O’Toole embracing a carbon tax, he won the Conservative Party leadership by pretending to be a “true blue” Conservative, but has since shown himself to be anything but.

Henry Brunsveld,


‘Shameful behaviour’

Dear Editor:

I sadly write this letter to folks who dump junk at charity bins.

It is appalling to see stuff dumped at Zehrs plaza and elsewhere when charities are closed and nothing is picked up. We all know this. We pay to get it picked up and taken to the dump.

To the few who do this: be ashamed. To the township: get boxes removed. I love Fergus, but this is very shameful behaviour.

Ron Dodge,