Mail bag: July 2, 2020

‘Not enough’

Dear Editor:

Re: We will do better, June 25.

When the community rises up in outrage due to your failure to see the oppression you help to perpetuate in your editorial choices, saying “we will do better” is not enough.

I also question the publisher’s comment that “We actually had our first face-to-face editorial meeting since mid-March to … gather insight on how we can avoid missing shortcomings in our work” which seems to imply that a lack of face-to-face meetings might have led to the very hurtful editorial choice. The pandemic is not an excuse for a lack of critical judgment in my workplace and it should not be in yours.

Your readers and backers deserve to see a concrete plan.

You say you will “reach out” to leaders of the local Black Lives Matter movement and other People of Colour in the community on ways to move forward. What exactly will that look like? You as journalists know how an issue can come to the forefront only to be put on the back burner once the demands of new stories take its place. This issue must stay at the forefront, for all to see, in order for you to gain your readers’ trust again.

Some suggestions might include: participate as a whole staff in diversity training and report on what you discovered. Invite those leaders and POC you mention to at least one editorial meeting and actually listen to what they suggest to make your paper more inclusive. Make addressing racism and creating equity a standing agenda item in your regularly scheduled meetings so these issues are not forgotten in a week or a month.

And as reader David Taeger suggested, commit an entire edition of the paper to these issues and to the voices of local Black/Indigenous/Persons of Colour, including resources where community members can learn more, after learning from them yourself.

Jennifer Hewitt,


Another apology?

Dear Editor:

I was surprised there was such backlash from the latest editorial cartoon with Trudeau kneeling on a beaver. Many people said they were angry and outraged to see such lack of respect from the newspaper with many calling on the cartoonist and the paper to offer an apology.

The editor and the publisher offered a sincere apology for exploiting the death of a victim. When a person dies from violence or any other reason, it should never be used to poke fun at politicians or be used in a way to promote an agenda or ideology.

What I’m concerned about is the lack of response to the editorial cartoon from June 4. The picture is the same as the picture in the June 18 edition, the difference is the person kneeling and what he is kneeling on (Donald Trump was kneeling on the  Statue of Liberty in the June 4 issue).

Not one letter to the editor was published demanding an apology. Why? Did everyone excuse the picture because of who was featured? If this is really about the exploitation of a death, then people should be consistent and speak up every time they see injustice, even when it pokes fun at someone unpopular.

The editor ended his apology with a promise to “cover important stories with an eye towards inclusion and justice for all members of our community.” This is great news. Perhaps the editor can start with an apology for the editorial cartoon on June 4.

Carol O’Neil,


All that is needed

Dear Editor:

I was quite surprised to see the volume of critical letters concerning the June 18th cartoon.

Let’s back up to the cartoon of June 4th which received not one published letter to the editor in the paper. The June 4th cartoon depicted President Donald Trump kneeling on the neck of the statue of Liberty, pretty much exactly how the police officer killed George Floyd.

There were no comments or discussion except from the editorial by Dave Adsett in the June 11 paper. Mr. Adsett mentions that a “handful” of readers complained but no published letters appeared in the paper. He states, “The cartoon, it appears did its job. People are talking and a conversation is ensuing. Our editor’s choice to run that material was solid and one I support.”

The outrage of the Trudeau cartoon somewhat baffles me. The two cartoons are similar but Trump’s duplicates in detail, the criminal act of a police officer and the one depicting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau does not.

One is about equality, freedom and liberty, the other is about economics. Did Trump kill George Floyd? No. Is he responsible for the safety of the nation. Yes. Do people think he is trying to crush freedom and liberty? Apparently so as the cartoon alludes to.

Is Trudeau responsible for the COVID-19 virus, no. Is he responsible for financial decisions made to combat the economic impact of the virus, yes. Do people think he is trying to hurt the economic recovery with shutdown policies? Apparently so as the cartoon eludes to.

Trump’s cartoon is directly attached to the horrible crime a police officer committed. The knee on the neck, his facial expression and the expression on the statue mimic the violence. The attitude drawn in Trudeau’s cartoon of “taking a knee” is quite different. The reaction to the two cartoons is dramatically different.

Trump’s cartoon – no printed complaints or criticism from readers. Trudeau’s cartoon – 15 angry letters, with 10 of them connecting a reference to George Floyds death as a reason the cartoon is harmful, disgusting, extremely offensive, insensitive to issues, extremely poor taste, lack of respect, appalling, lack of judgement and for cheap political points, to name a few.

I think both cartoons could have been left out in light of the past months events.

One last quote from Mr. Adsett’s editorial. “While we all have perceptions of democracy and what it means to us individually, the ability to speak and have differing views is something this newspaper will support until the end.”

To Mr. Adsett and Mr. Daponte, if you believe you have made a mistake, a simple apology is all that is needed and I thank you for that.

Michael Thorp,
Mount Forest


‘Far too slowly’

Dear Editor:

It was gratifying to see the turnout at the Black Lives Matter protest and march on June 20 as well as the publisher’s sincere apology for the offensive cartoon in the Advertiser’s previous edition.

However we shouldn’t feel too proud of our community just yet given the response of a few onlookers to the march – cat calls and middle fingers as well as two early 20s males with T-shirts saying “It’s OK to be white”.

Change is coming slowly; far too slowly for most.

Peter Varty,


‘Disrespectful, unfair’

Dear Editor:

RE: Totally disrespectful, June 25.

This letter correctly condemned the cartoon in the previous week’s publication, which the Advertiser itself, in the June 25 issue, acknowledged was “hurtful and not necessary.”

The contributor indicated that the cartoon was not surprising, “given the prevalent racism in this community.”  The writer then added that equating the prime minister’s actions “with the contemptible murder of a Black man is typical of Wellington County.”

It’s fair to ask whether the writer recognizes just how disrespectful and unfair this condemnatory stereotyping is to the minority of non-racists that the writer seems to suggest might exist in Wellington County, and who are unfortunate enough to also be members of a visible majority, and thus susceptible to unjust naming and shaming.

Even those who, according to your writer, comprise the racist general majority in our county would recognize the injustice in the writer’s not-so-hidden accusation.

Terry Rothwell,


Apologies sincere

Dear Editor:

I,  like the many who wrote to the Advertiser, found the cartoon of our PM in the horrific stance that murdered George Floyd, in very poor taste. The BLM groundswell is long overdue and to have it misappropriated by a cartoon was, to say the very least, hurtful.

I believe the apologies of both the publisher and editor were sincere. And now it is time to decide how we move forward.

What is not productive is the vitriol generated by some members of the community via social media with personal attacks on individuals at the paper who had nothing to do with the cartoon.

That is not moving forward in a positive manner. That is not engaging in productive, respectful conversation.

To those who lashed out in righteous outrage: I don’t understand your cruelty. If we are ever going to get this right, our first and only response must be loving, caring and compassionate. The teachable moment. The right way.

You owe some apologies.

Kelly Janzen,


Officers helpful

Dear Editor:

I am a Grade 12 student at CWDHS. I recently read an article in the Advertiser about the concern with the presence of police officers in the high schools and a possible consideration to remove them from our schools. I personally think it would be a poor and misguided decision to go through with the removal of police presence from our high schools for a few reasons.

First of all, from my experiences at CWDHS, our resource officers have been nothing but helpful, kind, and respected members of the community.

Although I do not know our resource officer on a personal level she can be seen most lunches helping out in the toonie lunch line whether it’s by serving food, taking the money, or helping Chef D. She always does it with a smile and says hi to people in line. The officers are also there to educate. They do talks on impaired driving and teach students about the importance of having a designated driver, not driving impaired, and so on. I believe these talks save lives and are crucial for students to hear.

Secondly, I think that an officer in our school brings a sense of security. Considering last year our school did receive a possible gun threat that was investigated and was deemed as not a threat, it still brings a sense of security that if something were to happen, we have an armed officer at our school.

Third and finally, the entire goal of having a resource officer in the school is to build positive relationships within our school with students. I believe this is the most important point.

The OPP said it themselves in the article in the Advertiser that “The goal of our presence in schools is to strengthen relationships by providing positive opportunities for interaction between young people and the police.”

I believe this 100 percent. The officers are not there to look over our shoulders and make sure we aren’t on our phones in class but they are there to build relationships and teach us that cops are humans too. You can talk to a cop like you talk to a teacher. They will respect you the same way.

I think we need to remember that cops are humans, they are our neighbors, family, and our friends. Students need to be exposed to police officers so they are familiar. Police officers want the best for our communities and are there to help. We need students to understand this and understand that cops are not out to get them.

To conclude, I strongly recommend you reconsider any thoughts to remove police presence from our schools as they are a part of our school’s community. They help out around the school, protect us, inform us, educate us, and build positive relationships with students becoming our friends.

The program shows us that cops are regular humans and are here to help. They are truly beneficial to our future interactions with police and becoming a more informed and safe community.

Jarrod Orok,
Centre Wellington


Just wear the mask

Dear Editor:

RE: Out of hand, June 25.

Mr. Swan should perhaps look to our south to see what happens when people take the instant gratification route instead of thinking.

Our American cousins thought the way Mr. Swan thinks – if the cases are dropping it is all over – we can relax our precautions. Balderdash! Just look at Texas, Florida and California now.

It is becoming clear that relaxing mask wearing does not bring the majority out to shop, anyway. People are just too scared, and they have a right to be, particularly if they are likely to run into a Mr. Swan. It is also clear that reduced cases only means we have obtained a little control – this thing is not going away any time soon. It simply sits, quietly waiting to infect the next unthinking person.

If he wishes to shop elsewhere, just because he finds mask wearing so intolerable, I for one am very glad he does. For very selfish reasons, the farther away from me the better, and long may it last.

Jim Taylor,


Good decision

Dear Editor:

RE: Out of hand, June 25.

I am writing in response to the letter regarding the wearing of masks in Wellington County. I agree that we should have started wearing masks in public three months ago.

However,  I am extremely pleased that our officials have taken the stance to make wearing of masks mandatory in our county.  I feel safer going out in public knowing that someone who may have COVID-19, not necessarily from our area, will greatly reduce the risk of spreading it to me, if they happen to cough or sneeze while wearing  a mask.

My husband and I applaud our public health officials for having made this decision.

Rose Anne Sander,



Dear Editor:

The following is a poem, entitled Twenty-two, dedicated to the 22 victims in the mass shootings in Nova Scotia on April 18 and 19.

You know the where, but can’t fathom the why;
and neither can I.
There is anger and strain.
There is anguish and pain.
Hope seems so far, far away.
Love and kindness can light the way,
And the sun will rise, the sun will set,
On beautiful Nova Scotia again.

You know the when, but cannot comprehend the why;
and neither can I.
There is sorrow and tears.
There is panic, and fears.
Hope seems so far, far away.
Love and kindness can light the way,
And the sun will rise, the sun will set,
On beautiful Nova Scotia again.

You know the how, but cannot grasp the why;
and neither can I.
There is dark skies, and rain.
There is shadows and stain.
Hope seems so far, far away.
Love and kindness can light the way,
And the sun will rise, the sun will set,
On beautiful Nova Scotia again.

You know the what, but can’t fathom the why;
and neither can I.
There is loss and darkness,
There is self-pity and sadness.
Hope seems so far, far away.
Love and kindness can light the way.
And the sun will rise, the sun will set,
On our beautiful Nova Scotia again.

Bob Emmerson,


Donors appreciated

Dear Editor:

After a three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 virus, a blood donor clinic was finally held at the Fergus sportsplex on June 22 and 106 units of blood were collected.

I would like to express my gratitude to those of you who came out and “rolled up your sleeve.” You are the very best. Thank you also to volunteers Chris and Amelia who gave up their time to help out. You were much appreciated.

“Blood it is in you to give.”

Margaret Molitor,
clinic leader


Stop Bill 175

Dear Editor:

An open letter to MPP Ted Arnott.

Having just found out about Bill 175, from the Wellington Advertiser, I did some research and discovered, to my dismay, that it had was ordered for third reading in just 10 days, without any professional healthcare input. It was my belief that anytime a bill is about to be passed, professionals are called in to discuss the merits of individual bills, otherwise it is simply politicians pushing through their own agenda, without the very good advice of experts in the various fields.

After months of public discussion of the inhumane treatment of people that are inmates of old age homes and long-term care homes, and the sympathy that these talks garnered from people at every level of society, I ask myself: “What happened? Was the Ontario government not listening?”

Now the government wants to step away from these homes and some hospitals as well, and privatize them. They will have no more government inspections done. This leaves it up to the for-profit owners to police themselves. How will that help Ontario’s people? Something must be done to repeal this bill.

Christy Doraty,


Thanks for support

Dear Editor:

With all the changes we are currently facing we wanted to send out a “high five” to all who made Colin McArthur’s drive by birthday and card event so much fun.

Having a special needs son it was great to see the support in receiving cards from PEI to BC to all across Wellington County.

Thanks to those that attended from Kim Pearson and her singing car load of ladies, to the Station 50 Hillsburgh volunteer firefighters (including our granddaughter!) who made a mental well being training run, Tracy Wallace of AAA Events and her costumed character, the Lunch Bunch group represented by Lita and George Root, town councillor John Brennan and county councillor Jeff Duncan. Also, thanks to town crier, Andrew Welch who belted out a birthday proclamation.

Thanks to family, neighbours and friends and those who we did not know who made the time  to assist in making Colin’s day great.  We will making a photo collage o and putting it up in his bedroom, as well as displaying all the wonderful cards from a caring community.

The McArthur family,