Mail bag: Sept. 9, 2020

‘Before you condemn…’

Dear Editor:

Two of the greatest attributes of a democracy are the freedoms of speech and peaceful protest.

A key attribute of anarchy is the flagrant destruction of property, both private and public, for some political end. Both statements now bring us to the defacing and destruction of the statues of Sir John A. Macdonald.

Freedom of speech bears the responsibility of ensuring that slander, racism and bigotry are not equated with the original thought.  Anarchy seemingly has no such restrictions. Need we consider the examples of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, the recent crackdowns of democracy in contemporary China, or the racial violence rampant in our southern neighbour?

I don’t understand why the perpetrators of the destruction of Macdonald’s statue in Ottawa were not arrested on the spot for (at the very least) defacing and destroying public property!

It’s totally accurate to point out flaws in John A.’s decision making, given the perspective of 150 years.  It’s quite another to transfix 21st century values on a completely different 19th century world. Probably in a minority, I believe that he asked the Roman Catholic church, a trusted institution at the time, to educate in order to benefit the Aboriginals and prepare them for life, even then, in an ever-changing world. I am convinced he never intended residential schools to become the diabolical monsters they did.

I don’t believe that he forced poor Chinese immigrants to labour as they did on the construction of the “National Dream”. It was employment, hired not by Macdonald, but by the construction company for the C.P.R. Before you condemn, kindly check your own wardrobe to see if you have supported the sweatshops of Bangladesh, Cambodia or the “pennies of the dollar” factories of mainland China.

Before you buy your “Product of Canada” produce, consider the fact that it was undoubtedly harvested by migrant workers happily coming from Jamaica, Mexico or the other islands of the Caribbean. The COVID crisis of this year highlighted the living quarters of many of these workers, and yet they return year after year to provide a better life for their family back home.

Were it not for the 1860s Civil War, I believe the Americans would have targeted Canadian provinces for expropriation.  They half-heartedly attempted it in 1812, but by the 1860s had the military might to accomplish this.

Were it not for the foresight of Sir John A., Wilfrid Laurier, Charles Tupper and the other fathers of confederation, Canada would never have been. The “Stars and Stripes” would today be floating majestically over Ottawa and all of Canada, “from sea to shining sea.”

Ron Johnson,
Mount Forest


‘Pet projects’

Dear Editor:

It is with some amusement that I read about the decisions and lack of direction Guelph council takes.

It seems they changed too a ward system from councillor-at-large system, with two councillors per ward that appears to be working quite well. But now because the population is growing in Guelph they are considering going back to “councilors at large” instead of adding more wards.

They are obsessed with building a new library (at a expensive cost and a nightmare under Baker Street parking lot) when they already have six library branches.

Why are they not concentrating on their real priorities, such as a second hospital? With Guelph expected to reach a population of 150,000 within the next five years you would think this should have been on their radar years ago. Have you ever tried to get or even have to pay for parking at Guelph General Hospital, not to mention the hours long wait at emergency?  No wonder why Fergus hospital sees so many emergency cases from Guelph.

I would venture to say many people in Guelph would agree with me; that Guelph council needs to get their priorities right, built a second hospital first, then get on with their pet projects.

Paul Roberts,


Profit over patients

Dear Editor:

It’s not my problem. This is the approach taken by Premier Doug Ford when confronted with the possibility of the province being sued for the death of seniors in care facilities.

It was alleged that COVID-19 and the long confinement had contributed to lessening of patient care. Ford’s position is that redress should come from the private corporations running the homes not the province.

Bill 175, awaiting 3rd reading, encourages the privatization of home care. At present clients can turn to their MPP, the ombudsman, and in general carry their concerns beyond the caregiver. They have a Bill of Rights that is legislated and cannot be altered by changing regulations at the whim of sitting government.

All this is gone under Bill 175.

Privatization of home care means concerns about care do not go beyond the corporate caregiver which become the judge of its own actions.

As has been done by private care facilities , concerned family (not living with the client) can be refused input and information. There is a long list of ills with Bill 175, but they all stem from changing a patient-centred approached to a corporate profit approach.

Chris Woode,


Look after one another

Dear Editor:

RE: Orwellian, Sept. 3.

Doreen Henschel seems to be having difficulty understanding the concept of contact tracing in the regard that it protects her and those around her.

If a person tests positive for COVID-19, the public health department will ask where that person has been recently. Perhaps it would have been on the patio, at the next table, on that very hot day, right next to the Henschels.

Doreen would receive a call from public health (not from the bar) that would inform her that she was exposed to a positive case. Then Doreen could get tested herself, protecting all of those around her.

It’s how we all look after one another in a civilized society.

Barbara Gooch,


Loves vitamins

Dear Editor:

In the Wellington Advertiser, on July 30, the Editor’s note stated “that there is no evidence showing vitamin D can help people exposed to COVID-19.”

Last week’s headlines and airwaves reveal that 40% of the population are low in vitamin D3, and 70% of the COVID-19 cases are deficient. Public health will have to change its position because this key vitamin is essential in strengthening the immune system and fighting COVID-19 and other viruses.

As days shorten from now until the winter solstice (Dec. 21), vitamin D3 production decreases in the body. Subsequently, people are more prone to ongoing viruses, including COVID-19.

Based on the research news last week, we know that vitamin D3 supports the immune system in fighting COVID-19 and viruses. For the majority of people, now it is time to up the level of vitamin D3 to compensate for the lack of daylight.

John Scott,

Editor’s note: The researchers alluded to in this letter state “adequate vitamin D levels could prevent COVID-19,” but they also acknowledge that such studies “may fail to accurately reflect any potential causal effects of vitamin D on outcomes.”



Dear Editor:

RE: Town of Erin to begin land negotiations for wastewater treatment plant, Aug. 27.

As a rural Erin taxpayer, I’m tired of paying taxes for services I will never receive. How much has the Servicing and Settlement Master Plan cost us? What about the Environmental Assessment? Drilling for new wells, etc.?

Mayor Allan Alls states in his tax message that developers will pay for the cost of development. The article states the town will buy the developer’s land to build the sewage plant and may have to pay for some or all of the $60 million ($80 million, $100 million?).

But not to worry, we will get our money back when the developers pay development charges. When do these development charges come back to my bank account/pocketbook? Never!

I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think so. Perhaps the mayor and council think we are all stupid? This from Canada’s most secretive municipality. Please join me at the Sept 15 council meeting to get some answers.

This is very unfair. Who wanted this? A few rich developers? This feels like Robin Hood in reverse: take from working families to give to rich developers. COVID-19 is stressing us all. Who can afford this massive tax increase?

We’ve been bamboozled.

P.L. Robertson,
RR1 Hillsburgh


‘Red direction’?

Dear Editor:

An open letter to Prime Minister Justin  Trudeau.

I have a question for you concerning the future for the next generations of Canadians;  as a bilingual society should we continue to embrace English and French as our two languages or should we move on to French and Mandarin?

As I understand it, you, as the PM of the present minority government, are proposing to give a throne speech focussing on a new “green” direction for the Canadian economy and way of life. Shouldn’t that be the new “red” direction?

My rationale for this thought is that if we consider that, as you stated, you like “the way the Chinese do business” and you have so-far refused to keep Huawei out of the Canadian 5G network, despite our allies and CSIS advising that to let them in gives a direct line of data transmission to the Chinese Intelligence Services, then you must be favouring them in some way.

Then consider that you have given a contract to Nuctech, a company founded by a the son of former Chinese president, Hu Jintao, to install X-Ray scanners in Canadian Embassies around the world. Obviously you know that details of all persons entering and leaving those establishments could be in the hands of the Chinese Intelligence Services within minutes of the event, yet you still choose to do it.

I can see that you have had to pander to the “red aristocracy” (Clive Hamilton – Globe and Mail) in order to limit further stress on the two hostages Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, but perhaps you are doing them no favours by rolling over for this regime.

I hope that it is not part of your plan to use this regime as a role model;  after all the only difference between your democratic socialism and their autocratic socialism is parliament, and having closed down our democratic option you are still managing to push your agenda on Canadians with only a minority government.  Interesting thought?

So what do you think for the future, French and Mandarin? Red direction?

I think the best alternative for us Canadians is for you to just hand over the reins (not reigns) to another group who does wish to use parliament and is interested in an economy that will work for all Canadians in English and French.

Perhaps your throne speed will achieve that?

Michael Lee,