Mail bag: June 25, 2020

‘Cheap political points’

Dear Editor:

We were very disgusted by the editorial cartoon of June 18.

It is insensitive and insulting to use the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police to score cheap political points on a totally unrelated issue.

The cartoon was very jarring to say the least, when published in the same issue as the coverage of the Black Lives Matter march organized by high school students in Erin.

Your publication provides excellent coverage of local issues, but we felt compelled to raise our objections to this particular cartoon.

Mathew and Christine Hill,


‘White privilege’

Dear Editor:

Your “cartoon” in the June 18th edition is disgusting; you should be ashamed for publishing this image.

How dare you use the horrific murder of George Floyd and the world-wide anti-racist movement as a source to attack our Prime Minister.

This image, in itself, is the very worst of what “white privilege” is: you think you have the right to use this crucial time to fight racism for your own reward, that being “getting people to talk and stir up controversy.”

Carolyn Sharp,


‘Totally disrespectful’

Dear Editor:

I am writing to condemn your decision to publish the cartoon in the June 18 edition of the Advertiser.

I found it to be absolutely disgusting and totally disrespectful. For the cartoonist to draw an image of our prime minister in a position that could leave no one in doubt that it is in reference to the murder of George Floyd, which as we all well know, sparked protests against police brutality and racism not only in the U.S., but here in Canada and around the world, was completely tone deaf.

Seeing this cartoon shocked me, but did not surprise me, given the prevalent racism in this community.

To equate Justin Trudeau’s decision to kneel at protests/his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic with the contemptible murder of a Black man is typical of Wellington County in my opinion.

I believe that the cartoonist, you the editor, and the Advertiser, should issue a formal apology for publishing this cartoon, and commit to addressing racism within our community more wholeheartedly.

You should elevate more voices of People of Colour, particularly Black and Indigenous voices in our community, and commit to financially supporting local causes that address racism and injustice, as an apology is not enough.

It is long past time for the not-so-hidden racism in our community to be addressed, and as the only county-wide source of news, you have an obligation to do your part, starting with not running such disgusting cartoons as this week’s.

Madeleine Chauvin,


‘Should be ashamed’

Dear Editor:

Your June 18 political cartoon goes too far. What mixed up, insensitive message are you trying to deliver here?

You should be ashamed.

Rick Worthington,

Lack of judgment’

Dear Editor:

I’m writing to express my disappointment at the editorial decision to publish the June 18 cartoon.

This has no place in a community striving for equality, anti-racist and respectful discourse about race relations. Shameful. Total lack of judgment.

Jessie Baynham,



Dear Editor:

I was appalled to see the editorial cartoon in my paper delivered this week.

While I can understand the concern about affordability of current programs, the mechanism to deliver the message was in profoundly poor taste. It trivializes the real concern about police treatment of People of Colour.

The irony of its placement next to an editorial titled “Let’s strive for exceptional” was not lost. If you are truly striving for exceptional you’d have had the good sense to see what this represents.

I was so pleased last week to read the editorial by Kyra Nankivell. What you’ve inadvertently done this week is simply to highlight how far this community still has to come to understand and address systemic racism. Shame on you.

Michael von Massow,


‘Harmful, disgusting’

Dear Editor:

Last week the Advertiser published a cartoon on page 11 that uses the murder of George Floyd  to push a political opinion.

This is so harmful and so disgusting.

I demand it be immediately removed from your online copy and a full apology in next week’s paper.

Also I demand a full paper dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement, black business owners in our community, the history of Wellington County from the perspective of Black/Indigenious/Persons of Colour, and resources/info where community members can learn more about white fragility and how to end racism.

Furthermore, I demand a detailed explanation of how the Advertiser will broaden its editorial base to include a wider range of perspectives that exist within Wellington County.

Laura May,


‘Insensitive’ to issues

Dear Editor:

I wish to express my outrage over your latest political “cartoon”.  You managed to invoke images of George Floyd having the life crushed out of him, and then pictured money as being more important than the health of Canadians!

Did anyone look at that before you printed it, or are you just insensitive to the issues of the day?  You should be more than ashamed, the public expects much better of you!

David Taeger,


‘Utter dismay’

Dear Editor:

I am writing to voice my utter dismay at the editorial cartoon that ran on page 11 of last week’s Advertiser. I moved to Fergus last year and have been struck by the friendly, welcoming reception my family has benefited from.

So imagine my horror when I opened the community paper to see someone trying to compare Trudeau’s fiscal response to an unavoidable international emergency with the imminent danger that Indigenous, Black and other communities face just by virtue of leaving their homes. George Floyd was murdered, slowly and deliberately, by a white man in a position of power.

Chantel Moore and Rodney Levi were killed by police recently, right here in Canada, under very dubious circumstances.

The fact that your paper would run such a hurtful, incendiary and blatantly disrespectful piece of ‘copy’ infuriates me.

Community resources such as yours are in place to inform and support members and communities, not to spread anger and hate where dialogue and education are truly needed.

Spinning tragedy for political purposes is completely out of line. I expect better and I know I am not alone. I demand that you issue an immediate apology to the community and educate your editorial staff on the insidious issue of racism that runs through our community and across the country.

Dayna Lamothe,


‘Represent us better’

Dear Editor:

I am shocked at the political cartoon published in last week’s edition. I can’t imagine that someone actually looked at this and approved it. I am shocked at the creator of the cartoon. How can this been seen as anything other than offensive?

You owe it to the population of Centre Wellington to represent us better than this.

Tracey Mooney,


‘Extremely poor taste’

Dear Editor:

I cannot believe what I have just seen printed in last week’s edition. That “cartoon” was disgusting, and in extremely poor taste. As a news outlet, surely you must be aware of the #BLM movement and all the protests and rallies in support of it. And yet you chose to publish this? Really?

Our own community is not immune to racism. Many of the BIPOC residents have recently shared their stories. Just last week your publication shared an opinion piece sharing the experience a young woman had in high school here.

But somebody actually approved this horrible cartoon. I am at a loss for words. And my outrage has nothing to do with the political content, I’m not a Liberal party supporter. My outrage has to do with the complete and utter lack of compassion and respect for the BIPOC community here.

To use George Floyd’s death at the hands of a police officer as an idea for a cartoon is disgusting. A apology needs to be issued immediately.

Kellie Barclay,


‘Lack of respect’

Dear Editor:

I was appalled to open up our local newspaper and see the June 18 cartoon.

The lack of respect shown by this image is not only distasteful but cruel. An apology is needed.

If the Wellington Advertiser does not already have an equity/diversity rep, then I’d suggest you get one who can help you navigate these present days.

Lisa McColeman,


‘Extremely offensive’

Dear Editor:

I am writing about the extremely offensive cartoon in last week’s Wellington Advertiser.

I am well aware that the Wellington area is a largely Conservative county and our prime minister may not be very popular but to make a parody of what happened to George Floyd in the U.S. is an absolute disgrace; the only thing that would have made this worse is have a clock running in the background running to 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

Last week you published an article from a local Black student who spoke very poignantly about her struggles with racism in our area and this week you published this cartoon.

I hope you take a step back and take a long hard look at what made you think this was an appropriate cartoon to publish. As our local newspaper you need to be part of the solution not the problem.

Keely Smith,


‘Made me ashamed’

Dear Editor:

I appreciate the removal online of the offensive cartoon using George Floyd’s death to make a political statement about government spending in Canada.

I also appreciate the article you posted by Kyra Nankivell two weeks ago. I was deeply saddened to hear about her experiences in this community. It made me feel ashamed. I wish I could have been more vocal about racism over the past 20 years that I’ve lived in CW.

White silence is compliance. And Ms. Nankivell paid the price for that silence. My silence. Our silence.

I would love to see a whole paper dedicated to showcasing Black and Indigenous local stories and histories. I think it would be very interesting and educational, too.

Eliza Crosland,


‘Needs an education’

Dear Editor:

The cartoon from last week illustrates Justin Trudeau taking a knee while pushing down on a beaver wearing a taxpayer T-shirt. The beaver strains to say “I can’t afford it.”

Talk about conflating issues, misunderstanding economics and downplaying the important cultural phenomenon that is Black Lives Matter.

First of all, I respect a world leader like Justin Trudeau demonstrating solidarity with oppressed people. Juxtapose our leader with the one south of the border who adds fuel to fires. I am regularly offended by those (often conservatives) who refer to all Canadians as “taxpayers.” How about citizens interested in the betterment of all Canadians?

Basic economic theory is unequivocal on governments sending cheques to citizens in a forced shutdown of the economy. Scared people spend less money, and this trickles down into the economy in a number of deleterious ways. To avoid a downward spiral in this type of recession, Canadian and world economists (not simply Trudeau) implement the idea of stimulating the economy by attempting to encourage spending.

For every dollar the government spends on stimulus they get back significantly more. Where do you think tax revenues on spending go to? The people with the least amount of disposable income spend more of it as a percentage of their income, and this helps our economy, families, and individuals to stay above water. That beaver needs an education, in more ways than one.

Josh Cranston,


Concerned about bill

Dear Editor:

I am truly saddened that our Premiere Doug Ford and the current government are moving ahead very quickly to pass the Bill 175, Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act. I had sincerely hoped that there would be many lessons learned from COVID-19 and the issues that became so heightened as we as a society tried to deal with the problems in terms of human cost in this pandemic.

One of the huge issues across Canada that came to light,  was the glaring shortcomings to be found in our long-term, for-profit care facilities.

We really do need to adopt another mindset in terms of care and think about the whole person’s physical and mental health in these very challenging times.  This is one of those times for me that instead of a pandemic prison I want people to consider very carefully the age old Golden Rule.  It is time to ask, “Is this how I would want to live so that the owners of these homes are able to continue to accumulate great wealth at the expense of our seniors in their care?”

Instead of a major change or correction to this for-profit model of care, we have a government pushing through Bill 175, which provides for  very little, if any, oversight from the provincial government. I feel it is all part of the slippery slope to remove health care from the village common. And as we rush to enhance those private profits, there will be more and more very vulnerable people falling through the cracks, especially if they do not have the private resources to pay for much needed care.

I am very, very concerned that so many of my friends have not heard that Bill 175 is almost a reality.  I am very concerned that health teams are going to be overseen by Ontario Health, a super agency which it seems will further remove health care away from the community.

I do hope that Bill 175 will be stopped in its tracks and that we as the paying public will be able to say, “Thankfully, our elected officials learned a valuable lesson from the tragic loss of lives and the very difficult working conditions that the front line workers experienced during this pandemic in our long-term care facilities. This  is a model of care that must be changed not expanded to another sector of health care.”

Bill 175, if passed, will have lasting impacts for years to come. I hope that there will be  many more people able to find the energy to make written submissions to the government on this huge threat to our village common in the public health sector.

Written submissions and guidelines for those submissions can be found at

Burna Wilton,


Global health

Dear Editor:

Canada’s contribution to the world can be more than health innovations.

Canada has always been a leader in global health – from the discovery of insulin to ground-breaking HIV treatments, the development of an Ebola vaccine, and the recent support for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance on May 12, and CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. These breakthroughs weren’t just for Canada – they were contributions to the world.

But more than just health, we’ve also seen the economic impact of the pandemic in many countries, the poorest ones are hit the worst. The world needs a global response to not only protect the most vulnerable and support those worst affected economically but also to strengthen global health systems so that we are better prepared for when another global health crisis hits. I believe it is our responsibility to contribute to the global effort.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that for the world economy, including our economy, to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, we need a global, coordinated plan. I hope PM Trudeau and Minister Gould follow through and invest in basic global health care. COVID-19 shows us how connected we all are. We need to act now to end COVID here and everywhere.

Terry Gray,


Time for change, action

Dear Editor:

As members of the non-black community, we can become allies with the Black Lives Matter movement to address the problems of systemic and structural racism.

For decades black  activists, scholars and others have been working to forge a movement. The recent, indecent  murder of George Floyd captured global attention resulting in world wide protests against injustice everywhere.

Now is the time for change and action. Who should we listen to for guidance? Those who are intimate with inequality. Politicians follow, they don’t lead. Police forces wonder how they can change–but not really.

Why should we care? Because we like to think we are good people who, in this moment, have been given the opportunity to become better people.

Janet Calderwood,


A poor choice

Dear Editor:

To the tolerant, freedom- and choice-loving individual who stole my pro-life lawn signs: If you had only let me know how much you wanted my signs, I would have anted up the $50 to get you a pair as well.

As for the gardening tools you stole, I don’t know if I would have been as generous with those. I do hope though that you put them to good use.

Annette Van Grootheest,


Out of hand

Dear Editor:

An open letter to public health officials.

The mandatory mask debate is getting out of hand.

Now, in Wellington County, I have to wear a mask? Just as cases are declining?

If you want to make people wear masks to protect their health, why not do it three months ago when the pandemic was ravaging across the globe? Not now, when cases are declining across the provinces. The economy is trying to reopen and the mask law is keeping business out of Wellington and Guelph. The only other municipality to require masks is one located in Quebec, that had thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths.

The math doesn’t add up. I for one will be doing all shopping outside of Wellington. Its a shame, I want to support my small business after being shut down, but the media frenzy has forced a wide blanket over a large area without asking the thoughts of any citizens.

Mike Swan,


‘Affects us all’

Dear Editor:

I do not live in Wellington County, but this issue affects us all.

A friend posted his reaction to your recent cartoon which depicted Justin Trudeau kneeling on a taxpayer.

I am appalled, the killing of Mr. Floyd is not fit to be the subject of satire. At the very least did you learn nothing from the backlash which resulted from celebrity “can’t breathe” quips and the can’t breathe gym routine? For shame.

Fiona Johnstone,


‘Damage done’

Dear Editor:

The cartoon on page 11 of the June 18 edition of this paper goes beyond bad timing and insensitivity; it underlines the reality that ignorance of white privilege is alive and well in Wellington County. Shame on you.

While this offensive cartoon was removed from your website at the recommendation of your publisher, there is damage done. Look to some investigative journalism as to the insidious nature of white privilege and start a meaningful discussion.

Teresa Gregg,


‘No humour’

Dear Editor:

Thank you for removing the cartoon of Trudeau with his knee on the beaver from your website. Sadly it made the hard copy and came to my house.

Had I known I would have promptly thrown it in the trash before I had to look at that offensive image. There is no humour in cartoons that are racially insensitive and are a pathetic and horrible false equivalency.

Please, try to be more discriminating in the future.

Paul Earle,


‘Crossed the line’

Dear Editor:

Your editorial cartoon (June 18) crossed the line.

To equate the Prime Minister’s efforts to give financial assistance to Canadians affected by the pandemic to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis is no less than disgusting.

It is insulting to People of Colour who endure conscious and unconscious bias throughout their lives.

It is insulting to those who have lost their income and who are receiving a hand up from those of us less affected.

It is offensive to all Canadians who want to see an end to racism whether overt, covert or systemic.

It is offensive to Canadians who believe that we are all in this together and must all work together to get through this pandemic.

Your readers deserve an apology.

Peter Varty,



Dear Editor:

Last week’s issue contained a comic of Justin Trudeau taking a knee on a beaver who represents the taxpayers of Canada. This comic is in poor taste.

First and foremost, it’s a complete disregard for the pain and suffering of the Black Lives Matter movement which has branched out to include the BIPOC community all of whom have suffered in Canada as well as the United States.

It not only implies that the Liberal government is breaking the backs of Canadians, but it also is a nearly exact match of the position the officer was in when killing George Floyd.

This so called comic is repugnant and should never have been chosen regardless of the political opinions of the newspaper or the artist. There is time for political opposition, but in this current climate it is our duty to listen to the voices of those who have been hurt and disregarded by the system, learn from them, and then repair the system.

Comics like this, which misrepresent gestures and have deeper implications, are the very aspects of systemic racism that we need to be weeding out of our communities. Frankly, I just expect better from a Canadian publication.

Matt Lantz,
Mount Forest



Dear Editor:

I am utterly disappointed in the Wellington Advertiser’s choice to print the cartoon depicting Justin Trudeau kneeling in a Canadian “taxpayer”.

Did no one stop to think how this image is offensive and makes light of the systematic oppression that People of Colour still face in this time? How this may feel for a Person of Colour to see this image depicted this way?

A man’s death is being used as a way to propagate political slander is offensive and distasteful.

As a public press you have responsibility to publish quality content, and also not publish offensive, distasteful content. Do better.

Melissa Ladds,


‘Do better’

Dear Editor:

I am in disbelief you actually published the June 18 political cartoon of Justin Trudeau kneeling on a beaver.

Colin Kaepernick took a knee to bring attention to oppression and police brutality. You hijacked this image to bemoan high taxes. It’s not just embarrassing, but wrong. Do better.

Erik Gitter,


Among those shocked

Dear Editor:

Place me in the company of the overwhelming number of citizens who were shocked to view the Wellington Advertiser’s recent decision to publish the tasteless cartoon of PM Trudeau “taking a knee” to stronghold every Canadian citizen.

The politics of division are represented in this cartoon by mixing the message of the importance of the BLM movement along with the unprecedented fiscal uncertainty that COVID-19 has generated worldwide.

As a Canadian, I am proud of our Liberal leadership during the 2020 pandemic. Unity of strength, not divisiveness  will direct us through this crisis and I can only hope that the BLM movement gains the rightful momentum moving forward.

Sophie Hogan,


‘Base cartoon’

Dear Editor:

What on earth were you thinking of as editor, allowing that distasteful, inaccurate and base cartoon in the last Advertiser?

There is no way this type of work can be palatable to the public.

Beverley Cairns,


Fantastic pharmacy

Dear Editor:

Thanks to pharmacies like the Elora Apothecary for all they’ve done to help  during the past months. Your policies were exemplary! Your delivery service was wonderful when I wasn’t even leaving my house for curbside pickups if I could stay home and stay safe.   Being in a high-risk group was challenge enough without having to worry about running out of essential pills.

Thank you very much for only charging seniors for the first 30 pill prescription refill and then doing two more at no charge since we couldn’t get our usual 90-day increments. It was a generous and lovely thing which (believe me) was noticed, talked about and truly appreciated. $4.11 to people with jobs or income who take one or two prescriptions is probably negligible. To someone like myself, with only my CPP, saving $8.22 at least nine times over past weeks represents a huge amount of money.

Thank you again for being there for us and for having this generous policy which helped many of us tremendously!

Helen Marucci,


Particular about principles

Dear Editor:

RE: Silent no more, June 11.

I am surprised that no-one questioned James Weaver’s accuracy of Peels Principles of Law Enforcement statement.

Weaver stated that “Peel’s Principles of Law Enforcement state that 15% of police will always do the right thing, 15% will always do the wrong thing and 70% will swing either way depending on who they are stationed with.”

The truth is that in 1829, Sir Robert Peel established the London Metropolitan Police Force with nine policing principles and three core ideas about crime, crime prevention and public responsibility. I looked at 10 different articles concerning these principles and not one supported what Weaver said.

If anyone can find information to support what Mr. Weaver said, please provide it here so we can confirm the truth. The idea that only 15% of the police are trustworthy and 70% have mob mentality is very disturbing. What is also disturbing is Mr. Weaver’s support of rioters. T

he idea of vandalism, destruction of public and private property, looting, stealing and physical violence leading to killings is not what George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd or cousin Shareeduh Tate condoned. They don’t want the memory of George to be connected with such violence.

Michael Thorp,
Mount Forest


Protesters exempt?

Dear Editor:

On the front page of the June 11 Advertiser, a picture showed protesters (about five thousand according to the article) taking a knee in Guelph. There was no social distancing and the gentleman in the very front was not even wearing a mask. This was similar to another recent newspaper photo of our illustrious prime minister in Ottawa doing the same thing and the crowds were so close together they were practically rubbing shoulders. Yet we are not allowed to have even 11 people in a socially distanced group to meet for a coffee.

Does there not seem something wrong with this picture? What if the 11 people decided to make their coffee clutch a protest meeting?  Would that make it acceptable? Perhaps it is just that it is easier to fine 11 people, but next to impossible to do the same for 5,000.

A second question: does the recent draconian order from Dr. Nicola Mercer of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, that anyone who does not wear a mask in a commercial establishment be fined up to $5,000, seem a little excessive?

Even during the past intensive lockdown, the fines were mostly under $1,000. One can cross the Wellington County boundary to Waterloo Region or to neighbouring Perth County and find a different world. Why does Dr. Mercer not address the contamination that occurs when protesters rub shoulder to shoulder? Strangely silent!

Does there not seem something wrong with this picture?

Robert Koechl,


Canada Day issue

Dear Editor:

It is interesting that Black Lives Matter shut down part of the streets in Fergus to allow for people to do a protest march.

However, we are not allowed to have a parade to celebrate Canada Day, which is for all Canadians, because of the COVID-19 virus.

Does council think that the Black Lives Matter is not a virus concern and that is it more important than celebrating our national heritage?

How can council approve one event and not the other?

Robert Skeoch,
Centre Wellington