Paying for the Pandemic

Hundreds of thousands across Canada have been laid off, had their hours reduced, or realized less profits while still trying to make mortgage and car payments and put food on the table.  Without the relief efforts of the Federal government, spending billions in subsidies to keep the economy afloat, the suffering would have been severe.

But relief aid and subsidies  are not endless and the billions of dollars of debt that has accumulated must be repaid  To that end the Liberal government is proposing to raise the HST to 16%.  This is a flat tax which everyone pays on goods and services. On the surface such a proposal appears fair since we will all pay the same amount.

But many have not had their income reduced through the pandemic. Policemen, teachers, firemen, healthcare workers, members of parliament have all been receiving their regular salaries and raises.  Executives of companies from middle management upwards all maintained their incomes, and their dividends reached record highs.  Their standard of living went up while waitresses, small business owners, part time workers saw their incomes slashed.  Yes the relief packages helped  but those earning $30,000 per  year learned to scrape by with $20,000.  They are living from paycheck to paycheck, their savings are long gone, their children’s education fund has evaporated. The police officers and government employees  who maintained their  $80,000 per yr. salaries can afford the extra 1% – it will barely be noticed – but for those eating lard sandwiches and lining up at the food bank, the extra 1% paid on everything they purchase is crushing.  Imposing a flat tax impacts those with lower incomes  far more than it does those who were paid during the pandemic.The Liberals should impose a wealth tax on the super rich.  The top 10% of Canadians account for half of all wealth in the country, while the bottom 50% combined  control less than 6% of the wealth.  The income disparity is growing in Canada, the rich are immune while the poor slide into bankruptcy.  The median net worth of the top 10% was over $2 million in 2012 and had grown by 42% since 2005. (Huffington Post) The rich are getting richer. Tax those that have the money, not those who are a few dollars away from foreclosure.  Increasing the HST, an across the board flat tax, is a terrible proposal.

Joffre McCleary,  Barrie

Hi Michael,

I am writing to thank you for creating the Springwater News.  In these crazy times your newspaper makes us feel human.  The article and contributors are down to earth, folksy and uplifting, and we especially enjoy your personal musings.  Thank you for putting them back on the second page!  It’s always the first thing I read.  I don’t know how you find the time to look all the stuff up and then get the paper going. Amazing!  I’ve learned a lot from your musings!   I was wondering if you would print the following little blurb in your December paper for the purpose of celebrating Christmas? (I have contributed in the past…mostly Huronia Airport news.)  Here it is:

It is known that on the measured scale of human consciousness…vibrating at its lowest of 20 and its highest of 700-1000…that JOY begins to vibrate at number 540. The emotion associated with joy is serenity, the process being transfiguration.  Whether we realize it or not December vibrates at 500, higher than any other month due to the energy of love that surrounds Christmas. Therefore, Christmas and all the various meanings and celebrations that embrace it, is a great opportunity for mankind to partake in the ‘love of the season.’  By choosing to extend kindness outwards in tune with the high energy of love, we can create an opening within ourselves, which then naturally transforms itself into JOY. This joy can then return to us awakening within us the natural upward flow towards Peace and Enlightenment, first for ourselves and eventually for all of mankind.  May this JOY be yours and may you be blessed to witness the serenity and transformation it can bring to you this Christmas season of 2020. JOY to YOU and to the WORLD!!

Beverley Dujay-Macdonald (Info from Power vs Force by David Hawkins, M.D, Ph.D.)

Merry Christmas to you and yours Michael!

Bev  –   Tiny, ON

Concern about our Alarming Decline of Pollinators

I am extremely concerned about the alarming decline of our precious pollinators right here in Simcoe and around the world.

On Earth Day, 2019 the UN provided us with an alarming report -Bumblebees have almost completely disappeared from the face of the Earth.

Their populations have declined by an astounding 89 per cent! Canada has over 850 native bee species and an increasing number are at the risk of extinction. Along with other pollinators, bumblebees help pollinate over 100 crops, including fruits, veggies and nuts.  As a matter of fact pollinators, like bumble bees and others are responsible for every third mouthful of food that we eat! I would be very upset, if I no longer could eat apples, blueberries, avocadoes, oranges, chocolate, pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, sunflowers seeds, bananas, strawberries, corn, pumpkins, or almonds! No species exist in isolation from all others. The disappearance of a species tears the web a little.  As the threads in the delicate web of life are destroyed it will have a rippling effect on the whole ecosystem. If too many are destroyed like our pollinators, the web may not be repairable. We therefore need to protect as much biological diversity as possible for own survival. One way we can help protect our precious pollinators is to ensure that our pollinators have many opportunities to gather nectar from biologically diverse green spaces. Native plants are extremely adaptive and have evolved to maximize the conditions found in specific microclimates in our community.  Most are very water efficient and are able to thrive in poor soil conditions, as well as, being pest and disease resistant. Unfortunately, many domesticated plants bred for beauty have lost much of their capacity to produce nectar and pollen.  Some wonderful looking creations are so frilly that pollinators simply cannot reach the pollen. Some pollinators like the Karner Blue butterfly is no longer found in Canada!  This butterfly depended on specific native vegetation (wild lupine) for its larva stage. It was unable to adapt to non-native species. So where can we find native and naturalized plants growing freely and abundantly? When one starts to search for large swaths of green spaces that are naturalized and could be naturalized, they can be discovered in a multitude of green spaces in towns and in the country. Not only do honey bees need naturalized areas  brimming with a great variety of flora but they  also need a variety of trees to collect resin which are used in the hive as defiance against pests, pathogens,  and for nest construction and sealing.

In my travels, I have observed countless township roadsides, public lands and environmental protected lands  where townships have clear-cut all pollinator food sources along roadsides leaving behind a dead, static monoculture of shorn stubbles. If the townships eliminate their regular, widespread mowing, not only, will there be more opportunities for pollinators to feed on readily available food sources, but there will be a significant reduction of GHG when the use of mowers is reduced. We would also significantly limit the spread of invasive species like garlic mustard, Phragmites australis, purple loosestrife, and dog-strangling vine (which is a milkweed relative on which Monarch butterflies get fooled into laying their eggs, but unfortunately the Monarch caterpillars perish). These invasive species all grow in ditches and disturbed areas and the mowers effectively spread the seeds everywhere. I am urging the township and all the stakeholders to form a committee that will  address these serious concerns and develop a bold master plan  where all the public areas that can be naturalized are identified along with solutions for increasing naturalization.

Respectfully submitted by Gwen Petreman    Barrie

Re: Bulldozing?

I have written several letters in the past on various topics of concern. This letter will be slightly different – more on the subject of awareness.

We all have come to the realization of development in Springwater Twp. It soon will become a mecca for GTA developers. Past councils couldn’t see past rose coloured glasses and glee and giddiness and most importantly greed. I look around Barrie, particularly the south end. It once was Simcoe County forest and wetlands but now filling with housing. Our slightly lower cost makes it viable to Torontonians.

Now another problem is on the horizon – more cars, more pavement. How is any of this helping our environment now or in the near future. The old saying, “Development creates jobs” is just that old. We all know the trades follow the development. Wherever it may lead them. Small outskirt towns are becoming innocent victims of development. We have no real say. Yes we have our open meetings to discuss what is coming. They present graphs, pretty pictures of their new houses. Only later down the procession make appeals and amendments to the previous plans that council had approved. A block of town houses will now take place instead of the original singles or semis. Well, my stars! It’s approved! Let’s face facts. A town house development will bring in more taxation than singles. I have brought this topic up at previous council meetings. My answer was that townhomes are more enviro-thinking, taking less space than singles. Truly, so but how many more toilets flushing, pavement laid, and cars will be on the road? Plenty more? So once again greed. We must be smarter than this. Once land is chopped and dices, it’s too late. What legacy are we leaving our grandchildren? Will they have to go to a “Tree Museum”? It sickens me to go past “Freele Tract” thinking of all those trucks and construction and destruction of a donated piece of land to Simcoe County. Now to be used for – at first for wet and recyclables to who knows – a future dump? Shame on S.C. Supposedly 500 sites and they choose a forest. Remember the composters that S.C. promoted years gone by? Well, I compost and I am certain I’m not alone. Who gets the contract to build it? Manage it? All county forests will be in jeopardy if this goes through. Odours and fires will occur polluting the air for miles around. Ask yourselves this “Who benefits? Who suffers?” We are better than this. It’s all backward thinking. We are all supposed to care about our surroundings and appreciate and honour our earth. We all need to say no – not a hard thing to do. Ask yourselves this simple question, “What would your grandchildren think if we just stood by and did nothing?” Set the example for future generations. Protect what we have – surrounded by beautiful forests, trails to walk, bike and ski-doo. We are so lucky! Protect what makes us smile.

Lastly, we need people in our local council that are like-minded, and their agenda is pure. Smiles and handshakes are not enough. Look past that grin. Look past popularity and social media. That is typical as was baby-kissing in the 60’s. It’s time for all new faces, new ideas, new zest, new innovative thinking. I personally would like to see some young enthusiastic people, no experience necessary, in their 20’s of 30’s give it a shot. Fresh is the way to go. Think about it young people. It’s your time to shine. Hey, why not? They are going to have to do a lot to do, a lot of sweeping, not under the rug, I hope. That rug is going to need a good cleaning – cobwebs, dust bunnies and maybe something a little dirtier.

With heart, Donna Hawthorne, Anten Mills.

When people ask me if Vespra and Flos had exceptional people, I think of my next-door neighbour (1960 to 1980), Charlie and Jean Day. — from The Barrie Examiner, February 22, 1951

Charles E. Day was recently elected president of the Barrie and District Civil Service Association. Previous experience with the association includes two years on the executive and six years with the sub-committee of the Department Council. He is presently work foreman at the Midhurst Forestry Station, having been with the reforestry since 1928.  Born in Cambridge, England, Mr. Day received his education in that country. Upon finishing continuation school, he came to Canada and took up farming in Flos Township from 1920 to 1922. He farmed in the West the following year, returning east in 1924 to begin 4 years with the CPR. Mr. Day left the employ of the CPR in 1928 and joined the staff of the Midhurst Reforestry as accountant. He married the former L. Anne McGinnis of Midhurst 1929 and they have one son, William. A member of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Midhurst, Mr., Day has been warden of that church since 1929, with the exception of the war years. He is a Past Master of Kerr Lodge, AF&AM, Barrie, a member of the Lodge of Perfection, Scottish Rite, and Spry Sovereign Rose Croix Lodge, Barrie. A member of the Canadian Legion, Vespra branch [149], Mr. Day was president from 1936 to 1945. He saw war service in both World Wars. In the first war he served with the British Army with the 12th division, Kitchener’s Army. He joined the Grey and Simcoe Foresters in 1940 and served with the A&T Staff until his discharge in 1945. Mr Day is an ardent hunter, and was connected with the Midhurst Athletic Club as secretary-treasurer from 1929 to 1934.

Les Stewart MBA, Midhurst, ON