Mail bag: 07/28/2022

‘Moralist’ condescension

Dear Editor:

RE: No letter of support for local hospice coming from Centre Wellington council, July 21. 

In the context of the proper democratic process (which Canada still exemplifies, unlike the discordant and divisive minority rule theocracy that we are witnessing elsewhere), I resent the way this issue, essentially one of life and death, was handled. 

The hospice, along with the services provided there, could very well be something the majority of constituents want. 

As a long-standing resident of this community, I resent the condescension of this type of treatment, whereby the personal religious feelings of an elected official hold sway over taxpayers who have equally sound and valid reasons for feeling otherwise. 

As I recall, a couple of these self-same moralists were in ideological alignment with the Bernier/Hillier faction who foolishly wanted to relax pandemic restrictions several months back, which would have been disastrous, in retrospect.

Allan Berry,


‘Unbelievable’ decision

Dear Editor:

RE: No letter of support for local hospice coming from Centre Wellington council, July 21. 

Last week’s decision to not support writing a letter of support for a hospice in our community was shocking to me! Councillors McElwain, Kitras, Foster (abstained), and Van Leeuwen (abstained) voted against this motion.

It is unbelievable to me that they can not see the passion, wisdom and caring, and the need for a hospice in our community.

We have established a fantastic new hospital, and a long-term care facility, and surely this community should also have the ability to access a hospice in this area to allow for a peaceful transition.

I honestly feel to deny our community a hospice is wrong. Everyone of us will have loved ones and eventually ourselves to make decisions around as time passes.

Let’s support people at these difficult times with a hospice. Let’s let people make their own decisions in this traumatic time.

I urge these four councillors to reverse their votes and support writing a letter to the ministry of health. We need councillors with caring, knowledge and vision. Please bring this motion back on the floor and revisit your vote.

Every single person in this community will know or benefit from adding this to our health needs, in this area.

A special thank-you to the councillors and mayor who supported this motion, and also thank you so very much to Dr. Alan Simpson and Dr. Sarah Gower who have taken the lead to establish a hospice.

To the four councillors: please step up and support writing a letter in support of a hospice.

Brenda Chamberlain,



Dear Editor:

RE: No letter of support for local hospice coming from Centre Wellington council, July 21. 

Having known Dr. Alan Simpson for over 30 years, it was not surprising to learn of his efforts to build a hospice in our community. 

This facility would alleviate the burden for local families struggling with palliative care for a loved one to regularly drive to the south end of Guelph.  This commute occurs during one of the most stressful times that anyone experiences in their entire life. Kudos to Dr. Simpson and his colleagues for these efforts and the progress shown to date.

However, why was I not surprised to learn that Dr. Simpson’s modest request for a letter of support for this hospice was rejected by four local councillors? 

This irrational approach has typified the last four years of these councillors. The only saving grace is that, hopefully, these councillors will choose not to run during the upcoming election or they will be soundly defeated if they choose to run.

Let’s look at those behind this rejection.

Councillor Kitras has been consistent in his ludicrous approach that diverts attention from a critical subject to something totally unrelated. Personal religious beliefs should not enter municipal politics. It has no place in determining whether support for a much-needed community resource is given. 

Councillor VanLeeuwen, you have been led offside by councillor Kitras with his convoluted logic. Our community expects much better from you.

Councillor McElwain hides behind his phony need to “consult with local residents” until he decides which direction the wind blows with other councillors. He too then falls in line with the irresponsible pack. 

Councillor Foster, you simply continue with a repulsive, abrasive and divisive approach that has typified your entire council term. Your efforts offer no value to this community.

Dr. Simpson will no doubt accept this rejection in stride; he will not allow it to inhibit the efforts for a proper local hospice. Know that our community stands behind you and those involved with this project. 

We reject those elected officials who impede such progress and are a constant source of community embarrassment.

Art Kollee,


Individual choice

Dear Editor:

RE: No letter of support for local hospice coming from Centre Wellington council, July 21. 

For the terminal patient, their family and loved ones; palliative care in a hospice setting is exceptional. 

Yet Centre Wellington council failed to provide written support for a hospice in the township. Medical assistance in dying (MAID) is not legislated at the municipal level. 

Providing this option should not impact township decision making. In addition, MAID may be a choice for a few but that choice should not impact the greater number who would benefit from a place to die in peace and comfort under specialized care.

Moreover, the religion of a councillor should not have influenced their decision. Councillors are not elected to stand in judgement of how a person might choose to die. I can’t think of a choice more individual. 

Other councillors seemed to think the request for support was out of the blue. In Ontario the hospice option is over a decade old.  Locally the donation of land was reported a few months ago and councillors are provided the agenda in advance. 

My thanks to Mayor Linton, and councillors Dunsmore and MacRae for their support. I hope this motion is revisited as soon as possible.   

Municipal elections are coming up in October. As we can see, decisions of township council impact day-to-day life. Let’s make changes through high voter turnout.  Already the unofficial slate of candidates looks promising.

Teresa Gregg,


Keep religion private

Dear Editor:

RE: No letter of support for local hospice coming from Centre Wellington council, July 21.

Stephen Kitras has voted against supporting a hospice in Centre Wellington that could administer medical assistance in dying (MAID) because of his religious beliefs. 

Yes, councillor Kitras is entitled to his beliefs, but no, he is not entitled to impose his beliefs on the general population. 

As an elected official, his responsibility is to make decisions based on the needs of the community and not on his religious persuasions. 

His religious beliefs should be personal and private and should not affect his political decisions.

Marty Papernick,
East Garafraxa


Separate church, state

Dear Editor:

RE: No letter of support for local hospice coming from Centre Wellington council, July 21. 

I was shocked to read one councillor’s comments about why he voted against sending a letter of support to the province to encourage our own hospice here in Centre Wellington.

Because they support medical assistance in dying?   That is merely a choice for the individual concerned. Having a local hospice centre would ease travel for local people especially in bad weather.   Frequently those visiting are elderly themselves and no longer wish to drive into Guelph.

I must have missed Sunday school the day they taught that allowing someone with a terminal, inoperable or untreatable condition to painfully suffer (perhaps at length) is the Christian thing to do. Certainly the various churches I’ve attended over my lifetime have taught me the exact opposite.   

Watching someone suffer when their own wish is simply to say goodbye with dignity is not a situation I can imagine anyone wanting for a loved one no matter what their personal beliefs.

And why was this issue voted on without further discussion?   Without any input from other councillors? I’d like to know how my councillor felt about the issue and asking him to vote with no opportunity to ask questions of Dr. Simpson somehow seems unfair.

Hooray for Debbie Ostic for speaking out! Please council, reconsider. Hospice is a wonderful organization providing much-needed support for those in their final years.

And please, too, let’s separate church and state as that’s how things are supposed to operate!

Helen Marucci,


Maddening, disrespectful

Dear Editor:

Geez Louise. It is astounding to me that here we are in 2022 and I have to do the veterinary finger wag about picking up after your dog.

My family (husband, dog and I) visit Wilson Flats daily. For us it is a place of wonder and solace. The water, the trails, the osprey (George, Gracie and their babies), the herons, ducks and geese are regenerative for us and I’m sure for many other visitors. 

It is maddeningly disrespectful by those of you who can’t be bothered to pick up, or have the mistaken idea that poop just biodegrades in a natural space. We humans must be caretakers of these sacred places.

I’ll keep picking up after you, for the sake of the Flats and unsuspecting others, so that you or your children don’t get a “shoe-full” or your dog doesn’t pick up a parasite or potentially dreadful fecally-transmitted disease. 

A little thoughtful, responsible picking-up behaviour would be refreshing and appreciated.

Karen Bentley,


Groves concerns

Dear Editor:

How much does it cost to maintain the old Groves hospital? 

What is the cost of heating and cooling? How much to tear it down? How much is the land worth? Have other government bodies turned it down? 

Perhaps it would be best to sell it for development and build new on land already owned. Perhaps it could be sold with the condition that a portion be set aside for long term care or other need. 

But then with the provincial government privatizing existing public facilities, maybe that is not such a good idea.

Chris Woode,


Lack of leadership?

Dear Editor:

RE: Closed bridges on and around 5th Line have residents detouring kilometres out of their way, July 14.

Thank you for your article about the condition of the bridges in the rural area near Belwood. Living on the 5th Line, our family has been, and continues to be, directly impacted by the bridge closures highlighted in your article.

Mr. Gilmore from Centre Wellington stated that bridge 16WG was closed in March 2021 and is slated to be replaced next year. The inference is that residents will be inconvenienced for only two years. 

What Gilmore didn’t say was that bridge 16WG had a height and weight restriction for five years prior to its closing. That means no school buses, no snowplows, no emergency vehicles, no farm equipment, no RV trailers, no horse trailers, etc. will be able to cross this bridge for about seven years, not just two years. 

Our neighbour almost had a barn burn down because emergency vehicles came to the bridge not knowing the height and weight restrictions were in place and had to turn around and take a 13-minute detour to finally arrive at his farm. 

There is a letter to the editor in last week’s paper from a neighbour of ours describing how the bridge closures has adversely impacted their bed and breakfast business. 

An item Mr. Gilmore failed to mention is that a Centre Wellington report completed in 1977 stated that bridge 16WG had 10 years of remaining life. That is not a typo. Centre Wellington has a report from 1977 that says bridge 16WG needed to be replaced by 1987.

I hope the above information lets the citizens of Centre Wellington know we were not just complaining about the conditions of the bridges near us, but our safety and financial well being has been impacted. 

Add that Centre Wellington has known that this bridge has needed replacement for 45 years, and it makes one wonder where is the municipal leadership on this issue?

Blair Greenly,


‘Climate emergency’

Dear Editor:

The first two rebate instalments of the Climate Action Incentive (CAI) appeared in my bank account on July 15, as it did for all Ontarians who file income tax returns. Since I live in Hillsburgh, I received $205, which is $141 more than I paid out in carbon tax so far this year!

Back in 2018, I knew the carbon tax was going to increase every year, so I began making changes to reduce my carbon footprint, spend less on fuel, keep more of the annual rebate, and help combat climate change. 

In 2018, my carbon footprint was 7.57 tonnes, and after installing solar panels, switching to electric water heating, adding a heat pump to heat and cool my house, and buying a plug-in hybrid Prius, I’ve reduced my carbon footprint to 1.28 tonnes so far this year. At $50 per tonne, the carbon tax was $64 and I get to keep $141 of the rebate. Even if I hadn’t made the changes, the carbon tax on 7.57 tonnes would be $379, which is still less than the full year rebate of $410.

Both the provincial and federal Conservatives want to eliminate the carbon tax and thus the CAI rebate! That really ticks me off – no way will they ever get my vote – we are in a climate emergency! 

Why don’t the Conservatives try to do something positive instead, such as cancelling the $4.5 to $18 billion in subsidies that our government pays to the fossil fuel industry? Why is every Canadian adult and child paying between $120 and $465 every year through our taxes to subsidize the fossil fuel industry, the same industry that is raking in record profits while ripping us off at the gas pump?

Unlike the Climate Action Incentive, which for most households returns more via the rebate than what the carbon tax costs, the fossil fuel industry makes you pay at the pump and pay again through your taxes. 

And what do they give you back? A hotter and hotter climate with more tornados, droughts, wildfires and floods to say nothing of all of the threatened and/or vanishing wildlife species!

Ron Moore,


‘Terrible mistake’

Dear Editor:

I must retract my comments regarding stolen sheep in my Letter to the Editor in the July 21 edition of the Wellington Advertiser.

I recently made the horrific discovery that they were isolated in a back pen that is separated from the main barn by a stone wall and were there for a few weeks without water or feed as I separated during the shearing of our adult flock.  

They are expected to survive and are receiving treatment with the valued assistance of the University of Guelph Animal Clinic, which provides us with veterinary services.

I am sincerely humbled by this terrible mistake and am hopeful that the majority of the sheep will live productive lives on an Ontario sheep farm.

May I also emphasize that all Ontario farmers with livestock need to be vigilant to protect their animals from theft as it can be a devastating and ongoing problem for Ontario producers. 

Glenn Duff,