Home Letters Domestic Terrorists…

Domestic Terrorists…

No Bank in Elmvale

Gloria Woods has the same concerns as many in and around Elmvale since the TD Canada Trust shuttered their doors. Since the attempted theft from and damages to their ATM machine in Whitfield’s Guardian Drugs, for many more people the problem has been exacerbated.

Her correspondence follows…

Gloria Woods December 9, 2020

19 B Yonge St. North, Unit 305, Elmvale

To Bharat Masrani

Group President & Chief Executive Officer

C/O The Toronto Dominion Bank

10’th Floor, TD Tower, 66 Wellington St. West

Toronto, Ontario  M5K 1A2

Dear Mr. Masrani,

I am writing to you regarding a small community called Elmvale. We had a TD Canada Trust Bank (Branch 2400) here in the community for over 100 years.  The branch was closed in the spring of 2018.  Apparently a survey in 2014 by the Canadian Bankers Association found 55% of bank customers were conducting their business on line.

TD Bank Group spokesperson, Carly Libman, said the decision to close the branch was based on an assessment of customer demand to make sure we are optimizing our branch network.  She said that after a careful review of a number of factors, including a decline in customers, traffic and transactions, the decision was to close the branch in Elmvale.

The building the bank owns and operated out of remains closed with a couple of lights on.  To our knowledge it has not been sold and is not listed for sale.

The two ATM machines were removed and eventually one was installed at the inside rear entrance of Whitfield’s Pharmacy, which is on the opposite side of the street from where the bank was.

The people of Elmvale can now drive approximately one half hour in each direction to Midland, Wasaga Beach or Barrie to do their banking.  We have completely lost the personal acquaintances with bank tellers, account managers and bank managers.

We recently had the ATM machine damaged by someone trying to break into it. There is no notice to the public to say how long before another one will be up and running or even if one will be replaced.  Needless to say those that use it are very inconvenienced.

Many wonder why, when the bank closed, that Elmvale also lost one of the two ATM machines.  We truly feel shunned and unimportant.  TD seems to have forgot that this community supported them for over 100 years.

I understand the concept “Supply & Demand” and for the bank this was probably a good financial decision, however to walk away from the community totally is so unsettling.

Our seniors and people who don’t drive, including the youth, now have to use a different bank ATM (at a cost) or try and find a way to another community.

I hope you are able to direct this community’s needs to the appropriate people to get some action. Maybe two ATM’s could be considered so there are shorter line ups and when a machine runs out of money or is out of service there remains one that is operative. Why can’t the machines go back in the bank building where they were?  Whenever the building is made ready to sell, the new owners may enjoy the rental that is paid for that space.

Where the machine has been positioned at the pharmacy – the space is crowded with no privacy.  There can often be line ups and I have seen a senior step away from doing her transactions because she is slow and holding people up.  Also everyone can only use the machine when the pharmacy is open.  Tourists travelling through have to ask where the TD machine is and often are out of luck because the business is closed for the day.

I tried to find out who this letter should be directed to, but good service to-day and working with people who care is few and far between.  I am a woman who, I guess, is too old school.  I think service and pride in your work is most important. When I call someone with a question of this nature why wouldn’t they offer to find out and call me back or put me through to who might know.  This issue cannot be handled by the Customer Care Department.

Thus – I write to you.  Sometimes those at the top need to know what is happening “if anything” down through the ranks.

Your understanding and help in this matter will be appreciated.

If you would like to come and see what I am talking about, I would love to show you this lovely rural community that we often call “the Gateway to Georgian Bay”.

We now have two large home developments that are in progress and homes are selling.  The communities that Elmvale services are growing rapidly.

Maybe one day in the future, TD Canada Trust will see the financial win to come back. We now know the service to the people comes second.

Your timely response in this matter will be appreciated.

Yours truly,

Gloria Woods 705-543-1987

CC:  Doug Shipley MP for Barrie, Sprinwater & Oro Medonte

CC:  Doug Downey MPP for Barrie, Springwater & Oro Medonte

CC:  Springwater News – Elmvale

CC:  George Cabral – Councillor for Ward 1 of Springwater Township

A Vincenzo Furfari replied.from MPP Doug Downey’s office December 11

Hello Gloria,

Thank you for your email to the constituency office of MPP Doug Downey. We appreciate the feedback we receive from constituents and encourage an open line of communication.

I sincerely appreciate you copying our office on your correspondence to TD bank regarding the closure of their local branch and the issues regarding their replacement ATM machine. It is certainly important for Doug to be aware of the concerns of constituents in our community and I would be happy to share your letter with him as well.

Please feel free to continue copying our office on your correspondence with TD regarding this issue.

Wishing you and yours all the best,

A Nicholas Zapf replied December 11, 2020

 

Mrs. Gloria J Woods

Thank you for contacting TD Canada Trust. We appreciate your feedback, particularly when you’ve been disappointed. As Senior Manager, Customer Care, this matter was forwarded to me for review and response.

Your experience was not up to the standards that you have come to expect from TD Canada Trust. Please accept my apologies for any frustration this concern may have caused.

Based on the findings of our review as communicated verbally by Vince Furfari, Manager, Customer Care, we are unable to accommodate your request.

This letter confirms the completion of our review. If you are not in agreement with the outcome, the next step in TD’s customer problem resolution process is to contact the office of the TD Ombudsman. Their contact information is as follows:

Mail: TD Ombudsman, P.O Box 1, TD Centre, Toronto, ON, M5K 1A2

Fax: 416-983-3460

Phone: 416-982-4884 or toll free at 1-888-361-0319

E-Mail: td.ombudsman@td.com

Please reference Customer Care Case # TDCT-20-12-04625.

I have also enclosed a copy of our brochure entitled “Do you have a complaint”, which contains additional options available to you should you wish to elevate this matter.

Thank you again for giving us the opportunity to review and respond.

Sincerely, Nicholas Zapf

Senior Manager, Customer Care TD Canada Trust

Then a reply from the TD Centre December 16th.

Dear Gloria Woods,

We acknowledge the receipt of your email dated December 12, 2020, which we reviewed in our office on December 16, 2020.

The TD Ombudsman’s Office is an independent body within TD Bank Group (“TD” or “Bank”) charged with reviewing Canadian customer complaints that remain unresolved after the completion of the first two steps of TD’s Customer Problem Resolution Process. Our Office will investigate complaints and act as a liaison between customers and all business areas within TD, including: TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance. Our Office does not report directly to any of these business areas in order to protect our impartiality in addressing customer concerns. Provided complaints fall within our mandate, our services are accessible to all TD customers, free of charge.

Thank you for sending us a summary of your concerns; we are currently determining how to best assist and will be in contact shortly regarding next steps. If your complaint is determined to be within our mandate, you will be sent an Agreement to sign and an investigator will contact you directly within 45 days from the date we receive the signed copy of the Agreement.

We have also included a copy of our Annual Report which contains information regarding the mandate of this office and our expected timelines for review as well as TD’s Customer Problem Resolution Brochure.

Thank you for your patience at this time.

Kind Regards,

Dominique Martel

Office of the Ombudsman

Office of the Ombudsman, TD Centre, P.O. Box 1. Toronto, Ontario M5K 1A2

T: 1-888-361-0319| F: 1-866-891-2410|

E: td.ombudsman@td.com

“YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS”

Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

VIRGINIA O’HANLON.

115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

We need a Green New Deal

Dear Editor,

In 2018, the Trudeau government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline, a massive fossil fuel expansion project that lacks Indigenous consent and would be a disaster for our climate. Now the federal government’s own agencies, the Canada Energy Regulator and the Parliamentary Budget Office, are projecting that TMX will only turn a profit if Canada abandons its goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. In other words, the choice is clear: Trans Mountain or the climate.

On top of that, the pipeline is costing the public tens of billions of dollars in the middle of a global pandemic and economic recession. Imagine all the things this money could do instead? For a fraction of that amount, the Trudeau government could end boil-water advisories in Indigenous communities once and for all. For less than a billion dollars, the Trudeau government could provide PPE to protect teachers and school staff from the COVID-19 transmission.

We are in a pivotal moment. We need our government to be brave and we need them to prioritize a green recovery from this time of hardship. A recovery plan that helps us build back better is a plan that invests in our communities and builds resilience for the future. Investing billions in a climate-wrecking pipeline is taking us in the opposite direction

Sincerely, Judy Bruce

Re: who should get the $500,000?

In your Editor’s Musings of Dec. 10th, your article says that “the estate hired a company to clean out the house before they put it up for sale.” Then the purchasers found a total of $600,000 hidden cash and gold wafers while renovating, and now the estate is in court to get their share.  To avoid the cost of going to court, they should just split it 50/50. And I have to wonder… with the previous owners being hoarders, how carefully did the cleaners go through the stuff they were tossing?  Or did they just drag it all out and put it in some of those big bins, to be hauled off to the dump, not checking for more hidden valuables?  Incentive for some late-night dump raids?

Heather James

Ontario Home Care Workers Pay Commercial Driving Rates for Part-Time Work: Premier urged to act to protect home care workers 

Ontario home care workers (essential service workers) among the province’s most vulnerable workers, subject to low pay, casual employment or part time employment, with little to no benefits, no pension plan, and who often earn less than $28,000 per year, appear to be paying some of the highest auto insurance rates offered to individual drivers.

During the Pandemic, signs in communities across this province, have emerged thanking health care and home care workers for their service. Due to the nature of their job, home care workers, who drive to numerous jobs sites through-out their work day, in order to serve clients being released from hospital, battling chronic and fatal illnesses and requiring support with their activities of daily living, are being asked to pay commercial driving rates. Typically, these workers, use their own personal vehicles for their work, incurring and absorbing the cost of vehicle depreciation, the cost of gas used to deliver services, and maintaining their own auto insurance. These workers, are expected to pay commercial rates in order to obtain insurance on their cars, because they use their vehicles for work.

It is estimated that a home care worker with a good driving record, may be paying as much as $2,600.00 in auto insurance fees per year, and then try deducting that from an income that may be as low as $28,000.00 annually, and tell me how they are expected to survive?

The people of Ontario, need to do more than thank home care workers for their contribution to health and safety during the pandemic, they need to advocate for their right to earn a living wage, and not be gouged on the price of auto insurance. Ultimately, home care workers are employed by agencies that typically contract work from government organizations, and so the government has a direct route by which to start the critical conversations needed about the health, well-being and safety of home care workers, by speaking with these organizations, and Ontario’s auto insurance industry.

Premier, Doug Ford recently promised to address rising commercial insurance rates, but he forgot to mention the plight of Ontario’s home care workers, who are paying a large part of their meagre income toward keeping their cars on the road, so that they can continue to eke out a living. If charging these rates to home care worker isn’t price gouging, then nothing else qualifies.

Home Care Workers need change on this issue as soon as the new year dawns.

Warmest regards, An Anonymous Home Care Worker in Simcoe County, Ontario.

Blind Premier Ford – Letter to the Editor

If we knew five years ago that a respiratory virus would blossom into a pandemic we would have taken precautionary measures.  Vaccine labs would have been funded, hospital isolation wards expanded, masks and gloves stockpiled – we would have spent billions in preparation and by doing so possibly reduced the severity of the impact thus saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars in lost wages. Premier Ford would be in the forefront of the drive to save lives. He is on T V daily telling us of all he has done.

And today we have forewarning:  we know with absolute certainty that carbon emissions are increasing the warming of the planet. The temperature rise of 1.5 degrees has already been breached and even if we act forcefully today, the upward trend will continue.  The latest research conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2018) and a similar U N sponsored  panel studying Biodiversity and Ecosystems (2019) conclude that, “absent heroic effort, the world has locked in changes to the atmosphere and oceans so dangerous that they pose an existential risk to civilization.” (IPCC report) and “ we are setting in motion a mass extinction with little parallel in the history of the Earth. Without radical change, one million species are at risk of extinction.” (IPBES) Our own is one of them.

Every university with a supercomputer has been gathering data for the past 40 years and they all agree:

– ocean temperatures are rising

– category 5 an 6 hurricanes will be the new norm

– massive firestorms will scour forests

– deserts including the Mojave will expand

– farming will become a hit or miss affair

– ocean levels will rise and storm surges will wipe out coastal communities

– hundreds of millions of people will be forced to move either from famine or political instability.

We have been warned time and again of the catastrophes which are looming and the chaos which will follow, but as soon as any meaningful step such as imposing a carbon tax is put forward, lobby groups from big oil and politicians such as Doug Ford step in to block the necessary changes. We need jobs, he says. Change nothing, keep everything as it is. In ten years we will look back and realize how hollow and shortsighted these words were. Our grandchildren will be asking, “Didn’t you

know?”And our answer will be. “Yes we knew, the scientists knew. We were warned. We had time. But we blew it. Sorry.”

Yes, we do know.  And we know what is coming. And we know that radical changes are required for the fossil fuel industry. And we have time, we can make the changes, we can adapt. But under Doug Ford, we won’t. Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money.  Our premier is setting aside the protections for our Green Spaces and parks so that developers can pave the forests.  Green Spaces produce no revenue he asserts.  What he fails to see is that urban deserts produce no life.

Premier Ford did well responding to the Covid 19 crisis, but is failing miserably reacting to the climate emergency.

Joffre McCleary, Barrie

The Internet problem

We in rural Tay, Oro, and Springwater are techno peasants being fleeced by large internet providers such as Rogers and Bell.

During the pandemic many of us are depending on the internet for everything from shopping to remote learning and work. Meanwhile, internet usage for the average rural household with wireless internet is capped, usually at 350 GB. Every extra GB provided by Bell costs $4. Their solution: pay an extra $100 per month for unlimited use. Who can afford this!

There has been no rate relief on internet service offered by any of these large telecom companies, who purport to be “good corporate citizens”. How are they helping out during the pandemic? In these difficult months when budgets are stretched to the max for most folks, they are raking in profits from the jump in internet use without any change to their too-low usage caps. Roger even increased its rates recently.

And now these companies are looking to grow their monopoly. Before parliament is Bill C-10, which would have the effect of adding further costs and restrictions to the use of internet for entertainment. This bill is being strongly advocated by large telecoms because it’s in their interests – most certainly not ours as consumers.

Canadians are currently paying some of the world’s top rates for internet. During the pandemic, at the very least, those of us in areas where we already pay heavily for wireless service from suppliers like Bell and Rogers need rate relief from the exorbitant prices they charge for internet use that exceeds the miserly amount allotted.

Pat Michener

Mathematical mistake?

Sir:

I am compelled to write concerning his letter in the December 10th edition of your newspaper.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, however, it is essential to have the facts correct prior to doing so.

Mr Joffre speaks of an alleged proposal to raise the HST TO 16% and then goes on to state that not every an afford the 1% increase.

His mathematics are inaccurate as is his basic assumption.

The HST presently 5% to which is added the Ontario Retail Sales Tax of 8% to reach the harmonized total of 13%. If one were to add 1%, the total would be 14%.

There are arguments as to whether a consumer tax is preferable to an income tax but let us start with accurate figures.

Joel Rubinovich, Tiny ON

Letter to the Editor – Holiday cheer card for Veterans

From the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

The holidays will be different for all of us this year. The flights home will be empty; the tables will be set for far fewer. While this time of year is usually about coming together with family and friends, Canadians across the country, including many of our Veterans, will be separated from their loved ones this winter.

If you’ve got some time, let them know you’re thinking of them by sending holiday cheer cards directly to Veterans in long term care homes in your community, or via your local Royal Canadian Legion branch. It’s going to be a difficult winter for a lot of folks, and a small act like sending a holiday card can brighten the spirits of the Veterans who have sacrificed so much in service of Canada.

For more information about the Holiday Cheer Card campaign, please visit veterans.gc.ca/holidays.

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

It’s time for national standards for long-term and home care

Dear Editor,

This year the COVID-19 pandemic has shown we can no longer afford to ignore the long-standing issues with long-term care and home care. More than 80 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in Canada occurred in long-term care facilities, the highest proportion – by a longshot – among the 14 developed countries that track this data. Reports from the Canadian Armed Forces detailed the tragic conditions in our long-term care homes, conditions that were made worse by COVID-19 but that sounded all too familiar to those with experience with long-term care. Add to this the fact that Canadians are living longer and more of us are dealing with chronic conditions and diseases, especially as we age. By the end of this decade, those aged 65 and older will make up almost a quarter of the population. The demand on the health-care system is only going to increase. Our health-care system has not kept pace with Canada’s aging population, and if we do not make changes soon, we will not be equipped to meet the health needs of Canadians. It is time we include older adult care in our national health framework and start managing, funding and regulating long-term and home care in the same way as other parts of our system: with national standards tied to funding.

National standards will guarantee a standard level of quality care, the availability of equitable and consistent services across the country, and adequate levels of funding for these types of care.

As we look to the new year, all levels of government must resolve to work together to fix long-term and home care and ensure older adults can access the care they need now and in the future.

Sincerely, Edward Roberts