Mail bag: 09/22/2022

Community passion

Dear Editor:

A recent Star article highlighted that dozens of municipal candidates are unopposed in the upcoming municipal elections in Ontario. Local democracy is hard and the decision to run is not an easy one. 

Candidates take time away from work, retirement and family and spend their own money on signs, brochures and travel. Their family, friends and supporters volunteer to help. Community organizations take time to host all candidates meetings, and media invest in building election and candidate awareness.

The fact that five of six ward seats in Centre Wellington are contested (one candidate has withdrawn) and that there are three mayoral candidates, points to the passion for our community and illustrates the importance of the issues facing us. Decisions about growth, housing, employment, bridges and roads, parking, heritage and taxation will shape our community going forward. 

Thank you to all township and county candidates for stepping up to be on the ballot. With so many candidates, the voters face the challenge of getting to know you and being prepared to participate. So please don’t underestimate the impact of canvassing. I know that by showing up at my door, you may very well get my vote!

Peter van Vloten,


‘Absolutely disgusting’

Dear Editor:

The latest provincial government legislation to move “seniors” from hospital beds to long-term care homes or charge them $400 per day, is absolutely disgusting – a “Band-Aid” solution at the cost of those who have given so much to this province and country.

They have worked all their lives, paid taxes, fought for this country, helped build this country only to be completely disrespected. Long-term care homes, as we found out during the COVID-19 pandemic, are not even being compelled to meet minimum provincial standards, which are far below what they should be to treat human beings with respect and dignity. Now seniors are being “forced” to live away from family and friends, being used as a solution to fix the inadequacy of our health care system.

All levels of government are talking about affordable housing,  but for whom? What about affordable housing with appropriate support for seniors? I don’t know actual numbers, but how many seniors can afford the exorbitant prices of so-called seniors’ residences? There are a lot of seniors who worked all their lives but had no company pension, living paycheque to paycheque to make ends meet without an opportunity to “save” for retirement and maybe don’t have family to provide support for them to stay in their homes, where they would rather be.

Why don’t all levels of government – federal, provincial and municipal – get together and think outside the box to provide funded solutions for seniors to be able to stay in their own homes, rather than ship them off to be mistreated?

Big business profits seem to be the only consideration of any of our governments. What happened to compassion, dignity, respect, rights of seniors? This latest provincial legislation has just “killed” the rights of every senior in this province. Now they will have to pay $12,000 per month for making a decision not to be put into a long-term care home that wasn’t their choice.

For a province and a country that is supposed to be one of the best places in the world to live, it is absolutely despicable and unacceptable for the elderly to be treated so poorly.

I challenge all levels of government, including town councils, to be the first to provide plans for their respective communities to rectify this situation. Be the first to show your respect and compassion to those who deserve nothing less.

Gord Smithson,


That’s local?

Dear Editor:

Alliston, Mississauga, Hamilton, Stratford, Woodstock, Brantford, West Toronto … What do these places have in common? 

As the crow flies, each of them are within 70 kilometres of Fergus.

The Ford government sees these as local if you are being discharged from a hospital to a nursing home. This applies if you cannot find a space in the nursing home of your choice.

Chris Woode,


Pledge fulfilled

Dear Editor:

Belwood Lions are pleased to announce the completion of the Pike Derby donation of a vital signs monitor for the endoscopy department of Groves hospital. 

During the May 28 and 29 Pike Derby and Walleye Tournament, Belwood Lions pledged $10,000 over two years for the purchase of the machine. 

With the support of the Wellington Advertiser and our other derby sponsors, the success of the derby and the result of our members actively collecting and recycling beer and wine bottles, Belwood Lions have comfortably raised money to allow us to pursue all of our charity donation objectives. 

As such, we have decided to pay our two-year pledge in full, and now look forward to working with Groves to select another project which will benefit our community at large. 

Thank you publisher Dave Adsett for your ongoing support and we hope that you will consider us once again for our 2023 derby on May 27 and 28.

Gordon Hufnagel,
Pike Derby & Walleye Tournament, Belwood & District Lions


‘Tangible commitment’

Dear Editor:

Land acknowledgements, which recognize Indigenous peoples as the first human inhabitants of the land we call Canada, are becoming more common. Such acknowledgements affirm the continuing significance and validity of the treaties. 

Those who live in the Haldimand Tract, that is the land six miles either side of the Grand River from its headwaters to where it empties into Lake Erie, live on treaty land. 

Sept. 30 is the National Day for Healing and Reconciliation, a day to reflect on how settlers have failed to keep the treaties and have broken the relationship with Indigenous peoples. 

I humbly offer a suggestion regarding what part of living towards reconciliation might mean for those of us living in the Haldimand Tract. I make this suggestion recognizing that I am a settler, I make no claim for it other than to hope it might be received into the conversation of what living together in a good way could mean. 

Might settlers acknowledge that we live on treaty land by paying a 1% levy on every land sale, every land transfer, within the Haldimand Tract to the Six Nations elected council and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council. 

This would be a tangible commitment to living as treaty people. 

Peter Bush,


Please vote

Dear Editor:

RE: Informed decision, Sept. 8.

Penny Lipsett pointed out two weeks ago that local decisions have a lot of impact on our daily lives,  making it important to take the time to get informed and vote in the upcoming municipal election on Oct 24.

If you have moved to Centre Wellington in the last four years, you may not be on the voters list. In fact it’s not a bad idea to double check to ensure you are on the list. It’s easy: contact the township at or call  226-369-1426 to ask.

And while we are on the subject, voting begins Oct. 15 online and by telephone.  If you require assistance you can visit a voter help centre at the following locations:

– Oct. 15, 11am to 2pm, St. John’s United Church, Belwood;

– Oct. 18, 10 am to 12pm, Victoria Park Senior’s Centre, Fergus;

– Oct. 20 and 21, 9am to 7pm, Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex in Fergus and the municipal office in Elora;

– Oct. 22 and 23, 11am to 2pm, Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex in Fergus and the municipal office in Elora; and

– voting day, Oct. 24, 9am to 8pm, Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex in Fergus and the municipal office in Elora.

 Please take the time to have your voice heard and vote.

Toni Ellis,


Died ‘in hope’

Dear Editor:

We have all listened over the past few months to the debate and decision around the inclusion in the new Wellington hospice of a space for MAID (medical assistance in dying), a medically and politically approved end of life service available to those who choose it.

In his mid-70s, my father died of Parkinson’s  with an assist from my grandfather’s pistol. He had struggled for eight years with the disease, which has effects that vary from person to person. 

My mother, a strong woman but of slight build, tended his steady decline – and it began to become hers. Placed on a waiting list, a care home had been tried. He anguished, behaved badly and did not wish to die separated from her.

With his own decision made,  my mother told me that a “cloud” seemed to lift.  For his last few days, sitting on the edge of the bed, they were able to recall their youthful and loving days together.

In 1990 his wife could not be seen to have assisted his passing in any way. He would need to be brave enough to achieve it by himself.  Alone, dressed, placed at his home office desk, loaded weapon at hand.  My mother, deeply shaken, left the home to meet the requirements of being absent. On her return, a nephew and a neighbour were supportive while police were notified.

My father did not die in fear. He died in “hope,” which is as remarkable as faith. 

A favourite book of his by Charles Dickens contained the lines “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

Bronwen Stanley-Jones,


‘Slippery slope’?

Dear Editor:

RE: Fear “unfounded,” Sept. 15.

Jan Corbett is most fortunate not to have anyone in her family or friends euthanized against their will. 

I suggest that she contact the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition for documented cases of people in Canada being euthanized against their will or knowledge. 

Others have been coerced into signing permission to be euthanized. In some cases they may have done so as they have not the financial means to live on a government pension.

Soon mental illness will qualify for euthanasia. What happened to “competent to decide?” Chronic conditions not leading to imminent death qualify now. Is this not the “slippery slope” which we were assured would not happen? 

I became disabled 71 years ago. I have no desire to have my life ended by euthanasia. Should I be hospitalized or admitted to a nursing home, there is no guarantee that I would not be euthanized against my will, as happened to my parents.

Pat Woode,