Mail bag: 12/09/2021

Strangers save bears

Dear Editor:

I just want to send out a big thank you to the wonderful couple who rescued our family of Teddy bears.

Being the manager of the Centre Wellington Food Book for over 12 years, I have witnessed many wonderful acts of kindness from residents and the community as a whole and we are so grateful to everyone for their generosity.

This past week my wife and I worked together designing and putting together a new float for the Fergus Santa Claus parade. Our main focus was to put as many smiles as we could on the faces of both the young and the old so we decided to use bears to achieve this.

We arrived at the A.O Smith parking much later than we had planned but there were some very strong, gusty winds that morning so we wanted to make sure the float was well secured before we left. After we got assembled in the line-up, we decided to get out and inspect the float one last time. To our absolute horror, our float of Teddy bears had vanished and was not on the van.

Many of the bears we used on this float are my wife’s heirloom bears and have been in her family for many years. We had to accept the fact that we would be in the parade without a float. However, and more importantly, we had to try and find the lost family of bears which we believed had to be stranded somewhere on the road.

As we drove out of the AO Smith parking lot, a truck drove in at exactly the same time with a big box of bears in the back – our bears! This was a very happy moment for us and a great relief. The couple that had rescued the bears and returned them to us had seen them fall off of our vehicle. Of course it was too late to re-attach our float so we continued on with the parade.

We are very grateful to this couple for their thoughtful and quick action.

And a big thanks to the Lions, Optimist, Kinsmen and Rotary Clubs of Fergus and everyone involved in organizing this wonderful event each year. We are still living in a tumultuous time and this parade is the momentary distraction that all of us need.

Fred Aleksandrowicz,


‘Government control?’

Dear Editor:

I read with interest the continuing battle between the so called anti-vaxxers and the logical scientific responders over the past few weeks.

Despite the people saved by science and the increasing deaths of those opposed to the vaccine, citing increasing government control over their lives, those opposed continue to turn a blind eye to reality. Undoubtedly, my letter will inspire some continuing nonsensical and illogical responses.

However, before you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, think about something first. Can you drive without a drivers licence? Government control? Can you get medical treatment without your OHIP card? Government control? Can you travel without a passport? Can you travel to certain areas of the world without being innoculated against certain diseases? Government control? Can you get a job without a SIN number? Government control? Can you get a book without a library card? Governmental control? Can you get served alcohol without proving your age? Government control? Should you get vaccinated to save the lives of others, including loved ones and yourself? Government control?

Come on folks, possibly dying to prove your point is in itself, pointless, don’t you think? Those of you of a certain age can remember getting shots for polio. Why? Beats living in an iron lung, right? Was that government control? No, just scientifically sound. Did you get your shots as a child for measles, mumps and chicken pox? Did you or your parents cry out that the government was imposing more control over your lives? No, no, no. Back then we seem to have been smarter.

But now, with millions dead around the world, a country south of us that has made this deadly disease a medical issue, and the immergence of an even deadlier strain that has already crossed the ocean to our shores, some folks still base their opinion on “government control.” Really? Are they injecting you with nanorobots that control your thoughts and report back to Mr. Trudeau? No, they are trying to save your damn life.

Having said all this, I’m sure it won’t sway anyone’s opinion towards logic and sanity. So, I’m off Monday for my booster, the benefits of which will include, continued longevity, peace of mind for myself and my family and continued confidence in the powers that be, that they have my welfare in mind.

Maybe I’ll pick up a Christmas card for the government. Funny, since my first two shots, I’ve felt this incredible need to thank them. Must be government control…

Terry Filce,


Wants alternatives

Dear Editor:

RE: “Fears for terminated staff,” Nov. 25.

The publishing of Joy Lippai’s bold, compassionate letter has re-ignited the divisive COVID-19 conversation.

The word “choice” is used by both sides. But where choice is truly needed is in making it possible for everyone to participate.  Where are the optional ways to contribute to what is a communal and urgent effort? Masking, distancing, daily testing should be an alternative.

None of us are identical.  Particularly as we move through life, our bodies, with their physical sensitivities and experiences all have different life histories. I know many people who are not “anti-vaxxers” as such, but who will not, or feel they cannot, in good conscience, take the vaccine themselves for personal and possibly very valid reasons that are not for some removed third party to judge .

  Most of these people would happily test regularly or obtain a home test-kit to use daily were one easily available. Nobody wants to be ill or to die, or to cause grief and affliction to another. Why should anyone with years of professional experience, in any field, be compelled to leave gainful employment without an optional way to contribute to a social cause?

Ostracizing people from public, community and cultural events  that may be part of their life-passion and livelihood is equivalent to a badly behaving schoolyard.

Where are all the alternatives to make it possible for unique individuals  (which we all are) to take part?  If 80% of the population become vaccinated and wish to take frequent booster shots, great!  They are doing their part in the “orchestra” of life. Another 15% to 20% of the nation’s people may be willing to go regularly to a fixed testing depot (and to socially isolate when and if needed). That’s great too! Others might wish to choose an affordable home test-kit. That  becomes their contribution. They are playing their part.

I appreciated the perspectives of all four responses, particularly those of Wayne Baker and the cautions he expressed regarding civil liberties.

We speak often these days about embracing diversity and of “allowing people to walk their own paths.” We need alternatives to a vaccine passport. We need to have other passport “stamps” or “designations” of safety measures willingly taken.

In a situation such as this pandemic, far more important than quibbles of who is right or wrong, are forward-moving results.  Socially respectful results.

Bronwen Stanley-Jones,


Reverse course

Dear Editor:

RE: Rethink in order, Dec. 2.

Jane Vandervliet demonstrates in her piece on electric vehicles (EV) how a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

She claims to be worried about the “huge” carbon footprint of the relatively tiny but growing industry, and concludes that climate change is accelerated faster by EVs than by the traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, and their fossil fuel.

Alright, let’s “rethink” this theory and address some of the claims. Upstream emissions refer to the extraction process; downstream refers to all emissions that occur after the product is in the hand of the user. Even oil companies themselves will claim that 90% of emissions come in the downstream.

EVs have 0 tailpipe emissions. Also, despite the fiery claims to the contrary, with a little searching you will find EVs don’t catch fire at near the rate of ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles. Firefighters are trained to put out EV fires, and while it does require a lot of water, it is only a real issue when the battery compartment itself is compromised. A Tesla consistently gets the top safety rating of any car on the road. Not only are they structurally stronger, they are also much safer than an ICE car due to their design and safety features. For what it is worth, I was told by a firefighter captain in Mississauga that he hadn’t heard of an EV fire in the GTA during his entire career.

Many peer reviewed studies have been conducted to show that EVs over the life of a vehicle produce far less greenhouse emissions than their ICE cousins and there are good reasons governments are beginning to promote the industry to varying degrees.

Not every car company is as environmentally conscious as Tesla, but they are switching to cobalt-free batteries. The recycling of batteries is being actively taken on by companies like Redwood Materials to turn a potential problem into an opportunity to return valuable materials back into the supply stream.

Ontario, sadly, has no subsidy for purchasing EV cars, but they do seem eager to hold the hand of GM and Ford with a little corporate welfare (I am not a fan).

Ultimately, Vandervliet is possibly barking up the wrong tree, with too little knowledge, while holding the water for a fossil fuel industry that is already subsidized, according to the IMF, to the tune of $5.9 trillion a year (2020).

Perhaps this charged response has given some readers cause to reverse their thinking from the direction of last week’s “rethink.”

Josh Cranston,