Mail bag: 06/30/2022


Dear Editor:

RE: Time for a change, June 16. 

I would like to commend publisher Dave Adsett for his editorial on June 16.

Our Chamber of Commerce should definitely follow Brampton’s example and not allow elected officials, a resident running for municipal office, etc., to be named Citizen of the Year.

That is why I was astounded to see this year’s winner in a picture standing next to the person who nominated him: Centre Wellington councillor Neil Dunsmore and Mayor Kelly Linton. Talk about nepotism!  

Dunsmore is running for mayor and it is like Linton is saying, “This is your man.” What about the other candidate who is running for mayor?

Dunsmore was put in as deputy mayor by Linton when he had the previous deputy mayor removed.  On council, Dunsmore always voted with the mayor.

Quite frankly, it is as Adsett said: “a poor look for all involved.”

Judy Haddad,


‘Other motives’?

Dear Editor:

RE: Time for a change, June 16. 

Experience is a great teacher. I learned to question what else is missing when a written document includes a misspelt name. Several important facts are missing, whether by haste or intent.

The editorial promotes a false equivalence to manipulate the context and perception of the Citizen of the Year award. Similarly, beginning a conversation stating it is not personal means it is. This political attack follows the paper’s pattern of supporting certain council members, of which Centre Wellington councillor Neil Dunsmore is not one. 

Community members submitting letters recommending a fellow citizen (unrelated to a political role) they felt positively impacted the community and event organizers organizing the adjudication process do not deserve this attack. Unfortunately, with political muckraking, innocents are caught in the crossfire.

A reasonable approach would involve privately contacting event organizers to discuss concerns. To do so publicly suggests other motives. 

Newspapers should be held to high journalistic integrity, neutrality, and a balanced reporting standard, especially as the local news source. Unfortunately, this is not the case and has not been for some time. 

I agree, the editorial was a poor look.

Ian MacCrae,
Centre Wellington councillor 


Editorial an ‘attack’

Dear Editor:

RE: Time for a change, June 16.

The editorial of June 16 is an attack on Centre Wellington councillor Neil Dunsmore dressed up as an argument of how the Chamber of Commerce’s process of selection for Citizen of the Year is flawed. 

The editorial goes on to build a flawed argument to support the idea that a person who is a councillor that has been nominated for the chamber’s citizen of the year can be susceptible to undue influence from supporters.

The facts used to support the argument are flawed, or in the current political scene “alternative facts.” In this editorial the following actions create a set of alternative facts to support the argument.

The editorial equates the Chamber of Commerce with an elected body. The editorial uses the example of the City of Brampton’s process; Brampton selects a citizen of the year and their rules disqualify anybody who is an elected official or will be running for office in the next election. As an elected body, this rule is appropriate. However, the Chamber of Commerce is a private body where members must be pay a fee to join, it’s not subject to the polices of a municipal government body. 

The editorial also mentions that a nominee can self-nominate for the award. The editorial goes on to suggest this can be used to further the political interests of an individual, yet it is not clarified whether Dunsmore was nominated or is self-nominated. As the chamber’s process is confidential, we will not know how he was nominated, however, it is the support and record of the individual that is reviewed in the selection process, not how one was nominated. The use of incomplete information leads the reader to believe the councillor was self-nominated. 

If this was a discussion about how a citizen of the year is selected for Centre Wellington, the discussion should be about: why the local government of Centre Wellington should be the one recognizing an individual as citizen of the year; not how a private organization’s rules should be changed to meet the needs of an elected local government. 

Since this was not the case, I can only conclude it was an attack on the political goals of councillor Dunsmore.

Merv McLeod,

*Editor’s note: Candidates can’t nominate themselves for Citizen of the Year. The editorial in question was a commentary on why elected officials should not receive the award. It was not an attack on any winner, past or present, and it had nothing to do with the aspirations, political or otherwise, of anyone involved.


Heated hatred?

Dear Editor:

RE: ‘Ironic’ inclusiveness, June 23.

I was so pleased to read Michael Thorp’s letter. So often we read around Wellington County that “Hate has no home here.” 

But I ask you: Would you hate me if I disagreed with your views on Pride month?

The number of letters disagreeing with Diane Breukelman (Rainbow criticism, June 9), and in such a heated way, make me wonder.

Spencer Westrik,


Loss of nature/history

Dear Editor:

RE: County grants tax relief for Pearle Hospitality’s Elora South development despite Cork’s objection, June 2.

This article states “an estimated $3.81 million in tax revenue [will be] returned to Pearle in the span of a decade,” with the explanation that it is a “brownfield.” This is ridiculous. They own 8.9 acres. It is difficult to believe that the entire acreage is “brownfield.”

I was shocked and disappointed to find out how much the township had sold of our river path. Will we ever get that path back? They have sold the best trail and the best riverside property and view in Wellington County and then our councillors allow them a $3.81-million gift?

And now we learn that Geranium Homes has submitted a proposal to build multi-million dollar mansions on half-acre lots on the southeast portion of the Fergus Golf Club on Wellington Road 19, where they will be filling in two wetlands.

An extension of the industrial park along the trail from Gartshore is in progress right now and further along the trail at Anderson Street, there is a 48-acre industrial park planned. There was an archeological dig to decipher if there were any Indigenous finds there, but since there were no bones found, only arrowheads, I guess they don’t count. 

The Trestle Bridge Trail will have the Gemini Homes development building more million dollar homes after cancelling contracts with the buyers at $800,000 because the township said the development had failed to meet the deadline for infrastructure. 

Maybe those people needed a break or at least an extension in the time limit from the township. They now have to look for homes in a higher priced market. But the developer will make buckets more money! 

There are also plans to put a bridge over the Richard Pierpoint nature reserve, a beautiful natural area with an amazing Black history that is too important to be paved over. This land was bequeathed to our township for the people of Wellington County to enjoy.

Soon our beautiful towns of Fergus and Elora will not have as much nature and history to draw tourists, who gave Elora the title “The most trippable town.” People did not come to see a shopping plaza/condominium/apartment building sitting on the edge of our beautiful Grand River; they travelled to enjoy old stone buildings and bridges, parks, river paths and the entire Elora Cataract Trail. 

A few years ago, any development had to keep 5% of the land they bought for parkland. Now it is money that exchanges hands. 

In the “Make Wellington County Home” ads in the paper the last few weeks, it states that: “Everyone should be able to live here.” Meaning that everyone should be able to afford to live here.

If we have extra money to give to large corporations who compromise the way we live, we should have enough to help the people that are struggling to rent or even buy a home here.

Christy Doraty,


What about smokes?

Dear Editor:

RE: Trudeau ‘simple’? (June 9).

This letter, concerning guns and cigarettes, is helpful because it provides balance and perspective. Much of mainstream media reporting today exaggerates violence, death and tragedy, going to extremes to gain viewership and admiration. This just traumatizes people – especially children.  

Equally harmful is the ignoring of greater dangers because they don’t happen to be the fear flavour of the day.

 Here are the metrics for today’s “hot-key” fear issues, to assist readers – especially young readers – to understand and feel less insecure, and hopefully see the world as something more than just an adult war zone.

 There have been 1,106 human deaths worldwide due to avian influenza between 2003 and 2021.  This means an average of 61 deaths annually. The 2022 total is heading for about 100 deaths worldwide based on 40 deaths in the first five months. Avian influenza dates back to 1878. 

 As reported in The Mirror (UK), “in countries where the (monkeypox) virus has been most prevalent in the past, there have been 66 deaths thought to be linked to monkeypox since the start of the year,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said. At this rate, we would be looking at about 160 deaths worldwide annually.

 Canadian firearm deaths in 2019 totaled 708.  Among these, 75% were suicides, 23% were homicides and 2% were classified as accidental.

In The New Great Depression, James Rickards reports that CDC estimates “put the overall (COVID-19) infection fatality rate at 0.39 percent…. lower than the pandemics of 1957 (Asian flu), 1968 (Hong Kong flu), and 2009 (Swine flu).” COVID deaths in Canada averaged about 16,000 annually; almost 70% were seniors over 80. To date, the cumulative COVID population death rate for Canadians under 20 is about 0.007%.

Your June 9 writer (and the Canada Lung Association) indicate that 48,000 Canadians are killed by cigarettes annually. Total combined 2019 cigarette tax revenue for governments in Canada was $8.4 billion. This is half of the $16.2 billion in annual health care costs associated with smoking. Addiction Minister Bennett’s boastful declaration to put warnings on each individual cigarette is a shameful abdication of moral and political responsibility.

For young readers: it’s okay to worry, but don’t let yourself become traumatized by sensationalist, alarmist news stories. Learn science, history, philosophy and politics. Don’t fear them. I know you can do a better job than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pathetic cadre of system servers.  

Follow the science; get the data, preserve its integrity; think independently; challenge the self-serving orthodoxy and do what you know is right.

Cigarettes are an enormous social injustice; hopefully, tomorrow’s leaders will outlaw them.

Terence Rothwell,
Wellington North

*Editor’s note: *The Advertiser was unable to confirm some of the statistics in this letter. *Over 41,000 Canadians have died with COVID-19, but death and complete recovery are not the only outcomes. *Regarding avian influenza, the risk to humans remains low, but it poses a significant risk to the poultry industry.


Hope for grandchildren

Dear Editor:

RE: Abel Page named recipient of ESAC Environmental Award, June 16.

I was pleased to read of Abel Page’s award and I hope that we will read of more accomplishments by residents who are making changes to address the climate crisis. 

It has been a difficult year to address that topic as we have been preoccupied with keeping ourselves and our families safe during this prolonged pandemic and the war in Ukraine is a frightening distraction. 

However, I believe that the climate change/crisis/disaster cannot be avoided and I believe that most of your readers would welcome some coverage of this critical issue. I wonder if the Advertiser could commit to a regular feature noting the efforts that the people of Wellington County are making to lessen their impact on the environment (i.e. – retrofitting their homes, installing solar panels and heat pumps, changing their transportation choices or living situation). 

There must be hundreds of stories and I would welcome learning of their successes (and disappointments). I believe that the farming community is particularly attuned to the changes that we are experiencing.

Addressing this issue begins with each one of us. We need political leadership also, but it comes down to us as individuals to take action and give our environment a chance to recover and hope to our grandchildren.

Jim Brown,


Thankful for help

Dear Editor:

I want to say a big thank you to all the staff and volunteers who care for persons with disabilities, making it easier or possible to remain in our homes.

I had polio in 1951 during an epidemic year. The March of Dimes organization was able to help my parents with finances to provide braces, transportation and some other needs after I was discharged from hospital a year later. 

I now have a homemaker weekly who helps me with personal needs and some homemaking services.

Both my husband and I are grateful for this assistance as it lightens his load in the care that he must provide. My disability does present challenges in life and the March of Dimes caregivers certainly help.

May God bless all of you who work, volunteer or support the March of Dimes with your donations. It was because of the polio epidemic in the 1940s that women collected dimes to fight this deadly disease.

Now that polio has been almost eradicated in most countries; the March of Dimes broadened their mandate to assist a diverse group of citizens with disabling conditions.

Pat Woode,


Loves grocery store

Dear Editor:

I am writing today about how much I appreciate having a local grocery store in Elora. 

The Geddes Street Market is a great place to shop. It’s clean and well looked after. The staff there are fantastic and do a great job. They have some great hot lunch meals available and rotisserie chicken for a big lunch or an easy supper. The meat department has a good variety of meat

I just can’t say enough about it. Thank you very much for being a friendly local store with great staff. 

Gery Thomson,