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Golf Shutdown

Dear Editor,

Golf Shutdown is nonsense from a science centered approach:

Maintenance- of equipment is mostly a solitary practice in a well ventilated area and masks and distance can be maintained.

Tasks- Grass cutting (greens and tees, fairways, sandtraps and rough) none of these need be 2 person jobs.

Outdoor respiration with separation is the least likely to spread the viruses.

Walking and playing is stunningly independent of others as a 4 or 5 hour activity.

Cart golf with a plastic divider while wearing masks is as safe as can be and better than indoor grocery shopping.  Even the snack seller in a cart is in the very best situation for providing supplies to customers.

Sales at clubhouse and introduction to the course is a time oriented activity safely managed with minimal crowding at cash registers.

Sincerely,  John Lyon, Minesing


The Springwater news RE: article in March Issue No. 594 about Brown’s Bridge.

In 1928, my parents moved from Saskatchewan to Elmvale, Ontario, my dad’s hometown where his parents still lived. In the spring of 1929, they took up residence on the Brown farm beside the Wye River, or as Mother would often call it, the Brown’s Bridge.

We lived there until 1934. Financial circumstances forced us to move. We landed on a farm on Highway 26, across from the Fred Woodward farm which would later become the Edenvale airport. I still have many fond memories of those years on the Brown’s farm. Five or six of my 9 siblings started school in Elmvale, and some went to two or three church services every Sunday. It was certainly different for them than living out on the open prairies. Soon there were friends coming to visit from town, names such as Ross and Jack Ritchie, Orval and Everett Edwards and many more.

One day some of my siblings came in to the house to tell of a motorcycle going by towing a skier. His name was Red Storey. While we still lived at the Brown’s Farm, the northbound side of the highway was paved. Traffic going southbound could use the paved northbound side when it was clear, but would have to yield to northbound traffic. A bridge may have been build at that time as well. Across the road from the Brown’s farm, lived a jeweler by the name of Fred Stevens, and across the river from him a lady named Maize McConnell. Further up the road lived a family by the name of Middleton, whose kids used to walk home from school with our family. I am now 92 years old, last of the 10 kids, and I still think of that place most every day. I was curious as to where the name “Brown” came from. I had never heard the Wye River referred to as a creek before. I have always wished we could have stayed on that farm and wonder if things might have been easier for us if we had. I’d like to send a warm greeting to Eleanor Barnes.

Jack Barnes, Cambridge Ontario.

Freedom and Our Choice

This past thirteen months have been full of loneliness, anxiety, separation and sadness for most of us. We have and are living in a world of no seen smiles, no interaction with or fellow man.

Humans are social beings. We can no longer see others’ emotions on their faces – Are they smiling? Are they grimacing? School children can not see what their teachers look like when a mask is covering their facial features. People walk along like zombies, standing in line on your assigned spot on the floor. Every other aisle is walkable – you must now walk each aisle up or down. Quite strategic on the part of the stores. Prices are all up and yet less staff is seen at the cash registers and on the floor. Walmart has put more staff onto shopping for people. We are either terrified or COVID or just plain lazy. I can not see the true value in this service. It is only adding to peoples’ phobias or inactivity. It’s not healthy either way.

The atmosphere is total sadness. Why can the stores not put on some music? I’d even settle for rap, but I prefer rock ‘n’ roll. Something to make us a little happier inside.

Our choices have been removed from us. We take orders, abide by them and at what cost are we willing to abide? Do we risk – all small businesses to fail? Where will people get employment if none reopen? These small businesses followed the protocol – invested in shields of plexiglass, sanitize everything. How can we just do nothing? Our small towns are in grave jeopardy of becoming ghost towns in the not so far future.

We need them to open – they were only letting a few in at a time. So why? The virus entered not one of them.

Personally, my humble and sometimes sporadic thinking tells me this: if you buy, rent a store, open that store, it is your right to keep it open. Let the customer make the choice whether he wants to enter your store.

We have lost our freedom. We are all wearing masks., washing hands etc. So why are we in a lockdown? It’s prejudicial to small businesses.

So now everyone is growing hair and seriously in need of a makeover! This government says no to your makeover and no to fitness. Oops! There goes our health and well-being. Might as well go to the drive thru, eat grease laden food and become unfit and obese and now I will become a drain on the health system, which ironically this government how has caused. How many hospital beds in the future will fill up with people diagnosed with heart disease related illnesses?

So in the meantime, I’ll get my exercise walking my walkways, pulling weeds and hoping that it will keep me from becoming a statistic of lethargicness

My Opinion with Heart, Donna Hawthorne, Anten Mills.

Green recovery from COVID

In April 2020 I sent Prime Minister Trudeau a “Go Green Canada Go Green” letter and a card “It’s Time to RED FLAG Climate Change”. The msg was to install Solar Mounts in spaces of Hydro Towers. I hope that he did read the letter about how Mother Earth is now strongly punishing it’s human children for harming planet earth via climate change. It is now time to RED FLAG the world! By harming and destroying hundreds of natures inhabitants, this COVID pandemic is a “natural result” of human disregard! Consequently by harming nature, we are “naturally” harming all residents … including humans. It’s time to take action now … PLEASE

The sun shines every single day, even though sometimes the clouds can hide the sun from vision. So even though it’s not completely visible solar energy is consistently available for every day use. So why isn’t every single new build, including homes, factories, commercial buildings, installed with solar panels at the cost of the builder?

Jim Masin

P.S. This year we are installing a 20 Solar Power Mount at our cottage and we will be 100% sustainable, totally Off-Grid! “Lettuce BEE Green”!

Growing Poverty, Enormous Wealth

Letter to the Editor

Since 2016,  shares on the  Toronto Stock Market  have gained 40%. We have experienced the longest running rally in the history of the TSX.  I read in the papers and hear reports from the government that prosperity is at an all time high.  The Royal Bank reported a net profit last year of $35 billion (yes, that’s billion) in the midst of a pandemic, and Magna, the auto parts producer, showed a profit of $4.5 billion. Shouldn’t everyone be doing better?  Yes, if you own stocks – but stock ownership has become  concentrated in the hands of the wealthy.

According to the latest estimates by Goldman Sachs, the wealthiest 1% of American households own half of all equities sold on the Dow Jones, while the top 10% own more than 80% of all publicly listed shares.  The ownership of profits is highly concentrated in the hands of the top income stratum whose wage gains in the past ten years have been three times that of the shrinking middle class. After paying mortgages, clearing car loans, and buying increasingly expensive groceries, the working poor have barely enough for a six-pack of beer.  Stock purchases are akin to purchasing the moon for wage earners.

Real-wage growth in the manufacturing sector has stagnated. In Canada barely two in every ten workers are still employed making things today.  Since 2001 Canada’s manufacturing sector has shed some 600,000 jobs, about 1/4 of its workforce.  Under the continent-wide free trade agreement a company like Magna can close its unionized plants in Ontario and move them to Mexico where an assembly line worker might earn $4 hr.  Today Magna hires 4,000 workers in 32 auto-parts plants in Mexico and has no intention of investing in Canada in the near future.  We have seen a massive movement of production and jobs to cheap-labour supply chains around the world.  Once trade barriers fell and companies felt free to move, Canadian workers found it difficult to negotiate for increased wages.  Virtually all new hirings are ‘contract’ positions or part time allotments. The work force has expanded, but most of the jobs created are minimum wage positions in the retail and service sectors.  Retirement security, health benefits, and vacation pay have been minimized or eliminated from  negotiations in the manufacturing sector. Globalization changed the rules. The massive outsourcing of jobs to low-wage countries has increased corporate profits, but has had a profound negative impact on both factory employment and wages in the G7 economies.

Workers have experienced wage stagnation for the past 20 years while the elite through stock options, dividend earnings, capital gains, and obscene bonuses increased their wealth exponentially.  Canada’s GDP may have increased in that time but the profits were not shared.  The C.D. Howe Institute, a government think tank, has advised Christia Freeland to raise sales taxes to help pay the $1.5 debt her government has created.

The Sales Tax is a flat tax imposed on everyone equally – sounds fair, but it is not.  The elite can easily afford the extra one or two percent while those living close to the poverty line will suffer. (there goes the six-pack and the trip to Wasaga Beach)  The working poor, the wage earners, are being ground into poverty.  The Sales Tax should be lowered, not raised and a wealth tax imposed on those who have benefited from globalization.

Interestingly, corporate taxes cannot be increased if Candian businesses are to compete on the world stage, but the uber-rich should be taxed increasingly proportionate to their income.  But that is the step the Trudeau-Freeland Liberals will not take; no Trudeau-created budget will increase taxes on the elite. Joffre McCleary,  Barrie, Ontario

What Were They Thinking?

I was relieved to learn that majority of our Springwater Council voted in favour of keeping notices entailing Springwater Township in our Springwater News Paper.

The Advance is a conglomerate newspaper and most certainly does not need the revenue of a township ad to stay afloat. This is a time to support local. We cannot get more local than Springwater News. It arrives directly to our enclosed mailboxes clean and without the use of a weekly plastic bag. So much better for our environment.

Allen, Coughlin, Moore – shame on you. What were you thinking??? That is not the opinion of most Springwater taxpayers. We must remember this when election time comes calling for your vote!!!

With Heart and My Opinion, Donna Hawthorne, Anten Mills

Momentum is building for a Climate Emergency Alliance

Dear Editor,

Even though COVID is dominating headlines, we know that the climate crisis is a top issue for people across Canada as we head into a highly probable 2021 federal election. Unfortunately, the status quo of Canadian politics isn’t going to win us the kind of bold, ambitious action we need on climate. Trudeau’s had 6 years to lead the way on tackling the climate emergency. But he has consistently failed to deliver by failing to reduce emissions, stalling climate accountability legislation, spending billions in subsidies for Big Oil, and buying the Trans Mountain pipeline — a project that even Canada’s own federal agencies say is incompatible with climate action.

Climate-concerned voters need better options as a possible federal election edges closer. That’s why thousands of people across Canada have signed a petition calling for a Green-NDP Climate Emergency Alliance. Under a Climate Emergency Alliance, the two parties would pledge to work together and do everything in their power to tackle the climate crisis with the urgency it demands. In the next federal election, they would collaborate to elect as many climate champions as possible. Then, after election day, join forces in Parliament to pass ambitious climate legislation. Trudeau’s policy of climate delay is guaranteed to lead us to climate catastrophe. A Climate Emergency Alliance might be the best chance we’ve got to secure a safe future.

Sincerely,  Noel Macartney

April 16, 2021

Mr. Trevor Empey

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Municipal Services Office- Central Ontario

13th floor, 777 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario M7A 2J3

Email: Trevor.Empey@ontario.ca

Dear Mr. Empey:

Re: ERO 019-3292- OPA 5, County of Simcoe I am writing on behalf of the Friends of Simcoe Forests Inc. (“’FSF”), a non-profit citizens group, with a mandate to conserve the forests of Simcoe County and to preserve and extend parks and greenbelts.

FSF is extremely concerned about the County of Simcoe’s Official Plan Amendment No. 5 (“OPA 5”). OPA 5 would allow the establishment of waste sites (which do not involve landfilling) without an official plan amendment. This means that waste sites can be established without public notice and the right of appeal. The proposal effectively eliminates public participation in Ontario’s planning process.

FSF is currently involved in a legal challenge of the County of Simcoe’s proposal to establish a waste site in the Freele County Forest, a Natural Heritage System, that is afforded protection under the Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2019 (“2019 Growth Plan”). We have retained ecological experts and a planner in support of our case which is scheduled for a hearing before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal commencing in September 2021. The implications of OPA 5 on this case are unclear and have not been addressed by the County of Simcoe.

Beyond our legal case, we are concerned that OPA 5 would permit the inappropriate establishment of waste sites in significant wildlife habitat and significant woodland areas in direct contravention of the policies in the 2019 Growth Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement. We note that this is the third attempt by the County of Simcoe to circumvent the planning rules from applying to waste sites. The County had sought a transitional regulation to exempt the proposal to establish a waste site in the Freele County Forest from the natural heritage policies in the 2019 Growth Plan. The transitional regulation was enacted and is now the subject of a legal challenge in Divisional Court. The County then sought a ministerial zoning order for the same proposal which was appropriately denied by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Waste sites are well-known to cause adverse impacts to public health and the environment. They are associated with odour, dust, noise, litter, increased truck traffic and increased fire hazards.

Under these circumstances, it would be a very serious mistake to remove public transparency and accountability mechanisms over the establishment of waste sites in Simcoe County. Accordingly, we strongly urge the Minister not to approve OPA 5.

Yours truly, Mary Wagner

President Friends of Simcoe Forests Inc.