Mail bag: 08/04/2022


Dear Editor:

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

Here are some relevant facts to consider:

In 2016, the federal government determined that Canadians have the legal right to die with dignity. Those suffering from a “grievous and irremediable medical condition,” and who meet rigorous qualifying conditions, are able to legally access medical assistance in dying (MAID) should they so choose. 

The law strikes a balance “between autonomy of persons who seek medical assistance in dying, on one hand, and the interests of vulnerable persons in need of protection and those of society, on the other.” 

And, according to a recent Ipsos poll, 86% of Canadians support MAID as a constitutionally protected right.

The physicians, Drs. A. Simpson and S. Gower, who presented the proposal to council, clearly are motivated by compassion, a desire to end suffering and discrimination and to augment personal autonomy. Surely it is cruel and inhumane – indeed, unconscionable – to withhold deliberately such a crucial service from those in the most dire need. 

Our elected representatives on council have a duty as public servants to represent their constituents, regardless of their own personal beliefs. We strongly urge council to reconsider its position and move forward a motion of support for the hospice proposal. 

Shaindel and Jim Zimmerman,


‘Religious zealots’

Dear Editor:

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

I’d like to address council’s disappointing decision not to support the new hospice. 

This is nothing new – religion intertwining with our local politics. We have some religious zealots on council, and they wish to impose their faux-logic (ie. – masks being harmful) and religious identity on other people.

Centre Wellington residents are missing out on cannabis retailers and the town is losing out on tax revenues from property tax. All because our religious councillors (Kitras, VanLeuween) feel it is their right to have faith guide our local politics.

Religion should never infuse with governance on any level. As we see with our neighbours to the south, the U.S. is careening towards christofascism and Centre Wellington citizens don’t take too lightly when a town councillor opposes a hospice on the grounds that their god doesn’t approve.

This is utter BS. The election is coming up soon – vote for someone that will allow cannabis retailers to open up shop, and someone that is compassionate for all people!

John Mifsud,


‘At least five reasons’

Dear Editor:

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

The July 18 Centre Wellington council meeting heard from Dr. Simpson who presented information about his proposal for a hospice. He also requested a letter of support. 

Mayor Linton said, “We’re not making a decision today because  there is no motion on the table.” Councillor Dunsmore, seconded by councillor MacRae, requested a vote supporting writing a letter. A motion was put forward asking for a deferral. The motion was defeated. The motion of support was also defeated. 

Councilor Kitras had listed at least five reasons for not supporting the hospice, including unknown financial commitments and an existing service that wishes to expand.   

Chris Woode,


Entitled to opinion

Dear Editor:

RE: Keep religion private, July 28.

I totally disagree with Marty Papernick’s suggestion that Stephen Kitras cannot vote against supporting a hospice in Centre Wellington if it is using medical assistance in dying (MAID) due to his religious beliefs.

Are you saying politicians must not vote on 2SLGBTQIA+ rights if they are 2SLGBTQIA+? Or are you saying a Black Canadian cannot vote politically on issues regarding Black rights or policies? So why can Mr. Kitras, based on his religious beliefs, express that he cannot support a hospice in Centre Wellington if it is administering MAID? 

This is not just or fair or equitable if this is the case. This is discrimination against people of faith. It doesn’t make any sense. 

Doctors and medical personnel and people generally such as politicians must not be forced to support MAID against their conscience. This is wrong!

Please don’t discriminate against politicians of faith who do not agree with MAID. Mr. Kitras is entitled to voice on MAID based on religious rights in a democratic free country which protects rights for all, not just some rights. 

You are entitled to your opinion and so is Mr. Kitras in his political role. 

Carolann Krusky,


‘Against progress’

Dear Editor:

RE: Move on with hospice, July 28. 

Publisher Dave Adsett hit the nail on the head with his editorial.

I have followed the writings and events of our town council for years. Yes, I did notice that usually the same two or three councillors vote against progress.

I have a few questions for them:

– do you feel better expressing your own personal views, rather than those of the constituents that you are representing?

– you might have lived a long time in Centre Wellington, but what have you contributed to our town?; and

– is your personal name on any of the donor boards in town? Like Groves hospital or the Seniors Centre?

Are you aware that:

– there are business values for business matters;

– there are spiritual values for spiritual matters (never mix business matters with spiritual values, nor spiritual matters with business values); and

– history is full of examples that have led to disasters and increased suffering due to mixing the foregoing.

Keeping obstinate personal religious values to make your point in a town council, is the wrong place.

Hospices are superb places for those that choose that way to die in peace. All souls like to die with dignity. Whether assisted in a hospice or not. That is their personal choice!

There is not one holy book that I know of that stipulates that a person should die a painful and slow death as a choice.

I suggest that you (you know who you are) change your world view or express it solely in your private life, not at town council.

Dick Haas,


Applauds approach

Dear Editor:

There were several letters to the editor in the July 28 issue that implied that “separation of church and state” somehow means that councillors should not allow their religion to inform their votes. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Separation of church and state means merely that there should not be a government-established church, so that no denomination is given preference over another. Every representative should bring their own views forward whether religiously informed or otherwise. 

To paraphrase Thomas More, “when councillors forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead the country by short route to chaos.”

Regarding medical assistance in dying (MAID), there are many options, including at-home services for anyone who wishes to choose that option. Hospice care should be a safe place where families can care for and attend to their dying relatives without the emotionally charged issue of MAID poisoning that important moment. 

As a member of the Delta Hospice Society, I believe we should encourage authentic hospice care, and I applaud council for taking a cautious and considered approach to this issue.

Patrick O’Neil,


‘Let’s move on’

Dear Editor:

RE: Move on with hospice, July 28.

After hearing about all the dust and feathers, in the report on a local council meeting regarding medical assistance in dying (MAID) facilities in the new hospice, it was heartening to read the opinion of Dave Adsett, publisher of this newspaper.

The two doctors who are proposing the hospice, knowing that council has no jurisdiction in the matter, were simply asking for what they hoped would be encouraging comment, not anticipating yet another roadblock by what Adsett refers to as the “fractious nature of council.” Nor did they anticipate the unnecessary “religious sentiments”. 

Although some individuals lack the respect for privacy when it comes to conversations on religion or dying, fortunately, even the most forceful members of the medical profession know that we, as individuals, have the final say about our own bodies, whether or not they should be subjected to invasive surgery, or not, and, the manner in which we choose to die. 

Fortunately we do not have to ask permission of anyone, not even our own family, if we want to donate our bodies, at time of death, to the anatomy lab at the University of Guelph or, if in dire straits, ask for MAID.

Religion is a private matter, between an individual and their respected higher being. It is not for anyone to challenge their beliefs, at any time. For this reason, instead of wasting time criticizing others, let us move on and support those who are working to create the hospice within our own community, providing closer accommodation for individuals, their families and friends at a time when the extra stress of a difficult journey to Guelph or Kitchener is not needed.  

Carol Williams,


Wants action from MPP

Dear Editor:

An open letter to Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.

I am very concerned with our crashing health care system. I have paid thousands of dollars in taxes to Ontario in my lifetime. Now in my advancing years when I need health care it is crashing. 

Doug Ford’s unfair 1% cap on salary increases chased nurses from the system. During the COVID-19 pandemic nurses have gone above and beyond their call of duty and still Ford did nothing about improving their compensation, working conditions and staffing levels. Excessive overtime is burning them out. Now they are leaving the system in record numbers. 

Until recently there had not been a word since the election about the crisis in the system from the Conservative government. It is too little too late with a promise of “fast tracking” nursing staff recruitment. 

I have emailed you a number of times but only got the polite “thank you for your comment” type response. Today my specialist moved my consultation appointment a third time. Our county hospitals are obviously experiencing stress in terms of staffing, like so many others in the province. 

I am wondering what have you done to help improve the situation? I have not seen you speaking about it in public. I have heard nothing from the premier. What kind of government did we just elect?

Ted, if you truly care about the Ontario’s health care system then please write about it, post an action plan with specific deliverables, target completion dates, and give Ontario citizens some hope for their health care future. You owe it to your constituents. I am confident that the Wellington Advertiser will publish it. 

Bill Mathison,