Home Letters Thinking Out Loud…

Thinking Out Loud…


Hello Tiny Neighbours!  “The whole world is wrong and I know it,” is a statement my father-in-law made once as we sat around the dinner table to celebrate his 80th birthday.  Conversations with him always revolved around solving the problems of the world and we had a really good time inserting our own opinions into some of his brainstorming ideas. Listening to the wisdom and stories of our elders can often get us thinking out of the box especially when things seem bleak.

The young can teach us a lot as well. My “living off the grid, self-taught philosopher son” once told me that humanity is nothing but a big human experiment and that most of us are just guinea pigs stuck in a lab project.  Pretty grim statement!  I laughed at the time, but today I am beginning to wonder if his observations were somewhat correct?  He was the same person who told me that computers get viruses and I couldn’t wrap my head around that at the time either.  Words can have many different meanings depending on the way they are used.  Companies can get away with a lot of misdoings because of the way language has been created.  One example would be the way our food products are labeled.  Manufacturers can tell us something is good for us when it actually isn’t simply by the way they present their wording. A computer virus is totally different than a human virus, yet both use the same word.  It can be very confusing to say the least!

Today, as we listen, read and observe the current state of affairs in our world, it’s easy to loose ourselves with so many different versions of information coming at us.  What does it all mean? How do we sort it all out?  Do we, (i) go with the flow and do as we are told…sort of like taking the blue pill and remaining asleep, (ii) fight back and get censored or perhaps killed…like taking the red pill and waking up, (iii) become despondent with despair and self-destruct, or (iv) change ourselves, the way we think, the way we respond and the way we live?   Likely there are a multitude of choices.  Knowing what to choose and how to respond is perhaps born of “freewill,” something most of us have come to believe is humanity’s special gift.  But fear seems to have us in its grip these days. What are we to do?  What are we to believe?  Perhaps both intellectual intelligence (those book smart folk!), and social intelligence (them street smart folk!) need to be combined in order for us to become awakened to the whole truth and for us to get along with each other. I guess this type of thinking could be akin to listening to our elders and those younger than ourselves.  Maybe then we can create a happy, safe place to live within our own small communities if we behaved like the free humans we were created to be. Maybe we can “live” choice number four by simply “doing it.”

Perhaps my son had a valid point.  Has an experiment gone wrong?  And like my father-in-law suggested, is the whole world wrong?  I don’t know!  But wait a minute! We have the on-line platform called “Fact Check” to tell us what to believe.  How lucky are we!  No need to think for ourselves anymore, simply look it up on Fact Check.  That’s a fact! (Sorry for the sarcasm…couldn’t help myself!)

Beverley Dujay-Macdonald

The Springwater News

Dear Sir

Although I’m not directly involved with your publication, living in Wasaga Beach, I do look forward to picking up a copy from our son who lives in Snow Valley, every opportunity I get. I find your paper informative, interesting and even helpful in some areas of general interest, so with that in mind I find it distressing that 3 people on council would vote to not support your paper.

We have the same situation in Wasaga Beach, where a LOCAL newspaper is struggling to keep being printed. In both communities, the other choice is a ” Throwaway “, whose sole purpose is to keep the profits for its corporate owners in Toronto, namely a division of the Metroland Media Group Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Toronto Star.  Both these ” throwaways ” only purpose is to distribute flyers in an area on a weekly basis, which cannot be done by a LOCAL paper that comes out every 2 weeks, or in our case in Wasaga Beach, on a monthly basis. In both cases, the ” throwaways ” make excellent profits in flyer distribution, which incidentally, make their way into the coffers of a huge corporation.

Any news content about the area in which they distribute flyers, is almost non-existent & usually handled by a ” stringer ” who is a part time reporter picking up the very odd bit of news off a news service and often not about the community that they service. Your ” throwaway ” will have a story about the sad closing of the Elmvale Beer store, but that will have been picked up from another source, NOT a Local reporter.  The ” throwaways ” are also careful not to alienate the local council, as they generate a great amount of their profits from the advertising that a local council has to put into a weekly paper re: bylaws etc., as they do in our case in Wasaga Beach.  At least the Springwater News gets a little bit of that, as it would make no sense to put it in a Barrie paper.

Elmvale & immediate area has already lost 2 important local businesses ( T/D & Beer Store ) whose Toronto based corporate head offices decided were not profitable enough, so please, please make sure that you don’t lose the most important one, your LOCAL newspaper. The Springwater News brings you not only your local area news, but it brings you the FLAVOR of the Community, which comes with this publication, through the many local people who make it an enjoyable read. And in the future, especially during voting time, remember those folks who thought that dropping support of the LOCAL paper was in order & VOTE THEM OUT.

Regards, George Potopnyk, Wasaga Beach.

Proposed Garbage Depot in Freele Forest

Dear Sir:

On the February page of the County’s ‘Waste Management Calendar’, I note County Staff’s boast of completing reforestation/restoration of 11 hectares of land elsewhere, to mitigate the negative environmental impact of placing the proposed garbage depot in the middle of an environmentally sensitive forest. In the interest of full disclosure and transparency, I have the following questions:

1) Was that 11 hectares in addition to the County’s usual reforestation activity, or was it simply a portion of the existing activity being arbitrarily designated as mitigation for the negative impact on the Freele Forest, i.e. ‘window dressing’ so as to give a favourable impression?

2) A forest is comprised of more than a group of trees. How many decades will elapse before the reforested/restored land will be able to support the wildlife which is displaced from the Freele Forest, while the garbage trucks roll in at the rate of 210 per day, 6 days per week (excluding only Sundays), 13 hours per day (from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm). That equates to 1 large diesel truck arriving or departing that forest every 1.86 minutes.  During the period of 40 to 60 years that is required for the trees which are planted elsewhere to mature beyond the stage of ‘understory trees’, where will these creatures reside? Those creatures include 3 species designated as “at risk” by the Ministry of Natural Resources, and 1 species which had been resident there and which may now be extinct. As an aside, it is not clear as to why County Staff failed to disclose the existence of those species until AFTER a local citizen’s group laid out its own funds to hire a competent field scientist who identified and reported their existence.

3) Given that existing industrial sites are available, closer to the centre of most waste generation in the County and on route to the existing market for the processed product, why the fixation on shipping garbage 15 km north into the heart of a forest, only to ship it back that same 15 km to reach its ultimate destination? You are aware, aren’t you, that the majority of County residents are opposed to mis-using one of our forests in this manner, when existing industrial sites are available?

4) Your Mr. McCullough recently announced that a temporary transfer station is to be built at/near an existing landfill site, to be used until the proposed garbage depot is in operation. When asked about the end usage of the transfer station, he indicated that it would likely be used to service/maintain the fleet of garbage trucks. Given that the expected cost of this temporary transfer station was disclosed at $5 million, and given that the proposed garbage depot is to include a similar maintenance facility, is this really a responsible usage of ratepayers/taxpayers’ funds? Why not simply build the entire facility on that “temporary” site, thereby saving $5 million, while also saving the forest which is being threatened? It should also be noted that 2 similar facilities have been constructed on former landfill sites, 1 on Christian Island and 1 that was the subject of a tour which had been arranged by your own staff. Again the same question with regard to the “temporary” transfer station to be built on/near an existing landfill site, why not construct the entire garbage depot there?

These are all matters of due diligence and, in the absence of clear and transparent answers, it appears that the said due diligence may be lacking.

I would hope that you are able to provide clear, transparent and succinct answers to each of the foregoing questions. A response which ‘bundles’ everything into one generic  reply, expressing good intentions but falling short of specific answers, would simply be less than County residents deserve. Also, in the absence of evidence to the contrary (i.e. the results of a poll to counter the petition of 1,200 residents who are opposed to siting the facility in any of our forests), I ask that you address the assertion that the majority of County residents are opposed to any such usage of our forests.

Yours truly.

R.W. Wagner  Homeowner   Simcoe County

Cultural Dynamics – Letter to the Editor

During a one hour T V show over 50 commercials filled time slots.  More than half of the actors selling everything from shampoos to automobiles were selected because they were  from a visible minority.  And the husband / wife representations were almost all mixed racial couples.  If a group of people were gathered around a swimming pool, I would be sure to see the requisite complement of mixed races.  Racial diversity is the new norm, and everyone is smiling, young, attractive, and healthy.

Interesting that of Canada’s population only 24% falls into the visible minority sub group, (Stats. Can. 2020) but mainstream television presents a very different picture.  Looking back, in 1980  4% of the population were recognized as a visible minority. Looking ahead,  Immigration Canada projects that by 2035 approx. 40% of our population will be made up of minorities having different religious, cultural, and ethic backgrounds with the graph continuing upward. Our politicians are making purposeful decisions to make Canada a multicultural / multiracial destination. But will these newcomers integrate well or will they isolate themselves in enclaves while maintaining their values, traditions, language, and religion? Will they demand that the curriculum currently taught in schools be changed?  Will they allow their wives and children the freedoms currently enjoyed by Canadians?

Yes, Canada needs immigrants.  This year we resettled 341,000 new arrivals and these newcomers will help drive the Canadian economy and bring a refreshing element of diversity to the workplace. But more than 60% of these immigrants come from India, China, and the Philippines and a further 10% from Pakistan, Syria, Nigeria, and Eritrea. In the past the majority of our immigrants arrived from Europe and today if we placed billboards in the central marketplaces of Madrid, Kiev, Dublin, and Sofia advertising for immigrants we would fill our quota by tomorrow.  But our government is selectively choosing to allow entry to people of different religions, ethnicity, and culture.  The current immigration policy is purposeful, our government is striving to reshape Canada into a racial mosaic.  Whether the results will enhance the fabric of Canadian society or fragment and undermine it will be determined in the future.

Last year 23,900 unprocessed asylum seekers arrived in Canada to claim refugee status. (Gov. Can./ Asylum Seekers) The majority walked across from the United States where they claimed they were oppressed or persecuted, and felt threatened if they returned. Once on Canadian soil we are obligated to support them with food, clothing, medical care, housing, employment, and an allowance to begin life in their new home.  Canada resettled the highest number of refugees per capita in the world. And if we accept what is projected on television, Arab and Jew, Black and White, Muslim and Christian are living together in harmony, enjoying prosperous tension free lives.

And our government tells us that within 15 years, White Christians with a European background will be the visible minority.  How far down this road do we want to travel?

Joffre McCleary,  Barrie

Letter to the Editor

Re: Win yourself a free Eastern Bluebird nesting box

Dear Mike,

I’d like to clarify the reason given to Mr. Quick for not continuing the nesting box contest in the Farm View newspaper. The explanation given is directly quoted as ‘With the readership expanding even further though subscriptions, it would mean substantial travel time to deliver them.’

Farm View is not, at this time, increasing its distribution area as was stated in your article. The distribution of Farm View will remain the same as it is, every farm household in Ontario from North Maple to Sudbury.

Thank you for the opportunity to make this clarification.


Roslyn Watkins   Publisher, Farm View newspaper

Springwater News

Dear Editor

When I read our dear Editor’s musings in edition 594 I was very disheartened to read that our Springwater News was voted not to be supported by certain council members and as a result may experience some difficulties in its future stability.  Further, I applaud Bill French and his excellent commentary…page 11, on same topic and certainly appreciate his good research in defense of our beloved newspaper.  The Springwater News with all its down to earth folksy reads, superb up-to-date important information, well-researched articles, great funnies, and much, much more is an elixir to the spirit as well as being the glue that binds our small community together.  We are neighbours!  And so why I ask, is another good thing possibly being taken away from us?  Surely there are those who see the value that a small community newspaper offers.  Do we really want to loose ourselves, our identity in the midst of this current world crisis?  We truly need to hold on to this community treasure. The future needs us.  Springwater News….we love you!

Beverley Dujay-Macdonald

The Springwater News

I was saddened to read that three members of Springwater Council voted to withdraw its advertising/support for its community newspaper. As the past editor of the Tiny Ties community paper I am aware of the time & dedication in producing each edition. In Springwater as in Tiny Township, the ability to reach constituents on your local issues is imperative. Communication is vital. There is a saying, ‘You don’t know what you have until you lose it.’ Advertising for running a paper alone is a huge undertaking, then comes content, printing & distribution. We all should be indebted to Mike Jacobs for his efforts over the years. To the members of Springwater Council who supported this, SHAME……

George Lawrence. Tiny resident

Luv the Paper!

Just a quick note to say how much my wife and I enjoy reading the bi-weekly edition of The Springwater News.

It’s insightful, informative and humorous all at the same time.

Our son took the journalistic route in University and College and is the current Editor of the Merritt Herald, a small town in B.C.. His introductory column to his subscribers extolled the virtues and need for a small town newspaper vs online news. His and your papers prove his point.

Keep up the good work! Looking forward to the next edition.

Regards,   Rod Courtepatte

Defunding of the Springwater News

I read in the Springwater News that the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councilor Moore voted to cancel or remove funding from the Springwater News. I am asking you to use or forward my SEVERE objection to such a move. I understand that they want to use the Barrie Advance. I don’t get the Barrie Advance (my choosing) as they did nothing but litter my property with their misguided throw of their paper delivery. Also, I truly enjoy the Springwater News and its many connections and articles referencing Springwater and the generosity of Michael Jacobs toward supporting all local events. This is our paper, it’s the SPRINGWATER NEWS!

It is imperative that the message gets out that we support our local community and elected officials have no right to question that support. I thank you for your support of the Springwater News and our local community and your tireless efforts in representing our community. Please request Council to act accordingly and continue support of our newspaper.

Barry Williams,   Midhurst

To the Editor I have meant to write several times to say thank you for publishing the bi-weekly column by Bill French.  I have great respect for our former Mayor – and while I might not always agree with him politically – I think his interpretation of the current council of Springwater is right on the mark.  My thanks also to Mr. French for his commitment to our township – without him we would have a very one-sided view of the happenings down in Minesing.

D.R. Moulden

Springwater News vs Barrie Advance

My vote goes to Springwater News

I read, with amusement, Bill French’s comments on the relative merits of Springwater News vs Barrie Advance.

I agree with him that, Springwater News is so obviously the most appropriate vehicle for providing information to the residents of Springwater, that it is surprising that it took our council so long to make the obvious decision. But then politicians have a propensity for deliberation.

Bill was lucky to have survived the depth charge attack by Barrie Advance on his snow blower. He only lost his shear pins. In contrast, the shear pins in my Canadian built snow blower remained in perfect condition, while the auger was transferred from a helix into a cone. I did of course write to Barrie Advance requesting that they instruct their delivery team not to leave the newspaper on the driveway when snow is expected. Their response was only to discontinue the delivery of the paper to my address!

I wonder how many more snow blowers have been wrecked in this way?

David Strachan, Midhurst

To support your paper

Hi Michael,

I took a subscription to the Springwater News because it is a paper that not only reports local issues but allows free speech. I was disappointed to learn about the challenges your paper faces this year.

I thought my subscription price was very low in comparison with other paper and magazine subsciptions. I can only speak for myself, but I would be willing to top up my subscription payment in order to keep your paper going, and I wondered if other residents might feel the same way. Even if it was just to bridge you through till everything reopens.

If you cannot continue to print a paper version, then I hope you can switch to online and count me in as a subscriber.

Yours truly,  Nancy Moysiuk

Comment on Mr .Doug Shlipley, MP Message Edition 594, 4 March 2021

I would like to thank Mr. Shipley for his article bringing   the Liberal’s Bill C-21 to the attention of your readership. I agree that this piece of legislation,if allowed to pass, will do nothing to reduce gun crime as it targets the  law abiding citizens who have willingly   submitted to the already stringent regulations required to purchase,store,use and transport firearms in Canada.

Bill C21 is a continuation of Mr.T rudeau’s 1 May,2020 Order in Council that dictated  as of  1 May so called “assault weapons” and 1500 variants thereof will no longer be legal in Canada.I n my opinion this is nothing more than ruling by decree,as Parliament ,the shooting community and other interested parties were not consulted.

Mr. Trudeau  delivered  this edict after the Nova Scotia shooting,making the case that these so called ” assault weapons had no place in  society as they serve no sporting purpose and were designed only to kill as many people as possible in the shortest period of time”.This ignores the fact that all of the firearms used  were illegally obtained and possessed. It also ignores that there is no legal definition of what constitutes a so called assault weapon making his ban arbitrary,and that those rifles used in the shooting are routinely used for competitions and hunting.( Alberta MP David Yurdiga has launched a petition to ban the term “assault rifle” in the House of Commons   as it is not an accurate description and demonizes gun owners.)

The Order in Council and C21 make reference to a buy back program,where the government will allegedly purchase from their rightful owners those now banned firearms at “fair market value”.However,no budget has been offered,and now we learn that the Liberals want to include an evergreen clause That means they can add, at their whim ,another list of firearms they deem prohibited. More personal property seizure-more taxpayer dollars funnelled  into an ineffective solution. Industry estimates for this buyback is in the BILLIONS. One must remember that this buyback will have to not only take into account the personal firearms,but stock on the shelves of suppliers,importers,businesses that deal in training,repair…..all left with assets that Mr. Trudeau made worthless on 1 May as there is no one to sell them to. Bill C21 has also swept the Airsoft and Paintball community into its net , which will have a profound effect on facilities devoted to their play such as our local Wasaga Beach Adventure Park. Many businesses across Canada will be forced to close under this new reclassification of what was,until just a few weeks ago,considered a recreational toy.

There is much more contained in this onerous,damaging bill. Even if you are against, or neutral on the gun issue,please consider this: If the Liberals determine that they are falling behind on their Climate Change agenda,Mr. Trudeau could  issue an Order in Council to” buy back “-using tax dollars at their determination of value-your collector car(s), ATV, tractor, pickup, RV or boat. Crazy? Facetious? Madness? On April 30th I would have agreed with you,but on 1 May,2020 by Mr. Trudeau’s Order in Council that is EXACTLY what happened to the law abiding firearms community. When you blow away the smoke,and shatter the mirrors-there are some very serious issues with Bill C21 and the OIC that goes way beyond its alleged public safety mirage.

It has much to due with setting a precedent on how Canada will be governed in the future.

Paul J. Peca, Elmvale

Your newspaper

Read something about support being withdrawn by Mayor Allen, Deputy-Mayor Coughlin and Councillor Moore.  What the heck?  This is the best newspaper ever. Many, many people look forward to getting this paper and I’m one of them.  So newsy.  I can’t begin to think of the times I have circulated some news item of interest to other people and usually pass the paper on to friends who think it is the BEST!  No other community has such a great paper.  Many people have stopped taking the Barrie paper because it is all ads and no real items of interest.  I walked in Barrie yesterday and I lost count of the papers in plastic still in driveways or on the side of the road–not worth bringing in to the house.  That wouldn’t happen to the Springwater News.

I will  “VOTE NO” for Allen, Coughlin and Moore at election time for even suggesting withdrawing funding.

Just so you know how much we appreciate the Springwater News.

War Amps “key tags at work” for 75 years

Dear Editor,

The War Amps Key Tag Service is celebrating a milestone this year – its 75thanniversary! The service has not only been reuniting Canadians with their lost keys, it has been helping to make a difference in the lives of amputees. To date, more than 1.5 million sets of lost keys have been returned to their owners. Although it’s a free service, donations enable the Association to operate its many programs for amputees, including veterans and children.

I lost my right arm and part of my left hand in a lawnmower accident and was enrolled in The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program at the age of 2. The CHAMP Program is there to support amputees through every stage of life. It has encouraged me to try new activities whether it is crafts, sports or dancing. With every new experience, I have gained confidence and I try to share what I have learned with fellow amputees.

The War Amps 2021 key tags are being mailed to Southern Ontario residents next week and I would like to personally thank everyone for their heartfelt support of the Association. Your donations go a long way in making a difference in the lives of amputees.

Denise Swedlo

War Amps Regional Representative, Ontario

A local newspaper is a local newspaper is a local newspaper

Hello Michael, just to let you know your newspaper has been read cover to cover every couple weeks in our household for as long as i can remember.  Save for random content under “Editors Musings” (eg climate change) we thoroughly enjoy and understand the importance of this periodical.  The decision by some members of Springwater Council to not fully support your efforts is a disappointment and a mistake.  Let’s hope that moving forward all involved take a closer look at their surroundings.

Sincerely,  Byron Wesson      Phelpston

Rosie’s Devotions – Snow Tracks

I was looking out our living room window the other day and watched as the snow fell gently to the ground, covering the path below with a white soft blanket. Millions of tiny diamonds sparkled on the snow’s surface as the sun shone down on this white blanket.

As I gazed at this fantasy that lay before me, I noticed various tracks in the snow. One set of tracks was made by a rabbit, another by a black squirrel, and there was still another set that I couldn’t make out. Paths of tracks leading somewhere, and I wondered where they led. Were these tracks made by the animal perhaps searching for food, or were they made by the animal going back to its individual home to keep warm?  The path was known only to the animal and its Creator.

In the same way, the paths that we take are known only to us and our Creator. Paths direct us to whatever choices we make. Sometimes we make a good choice, which leads to success; sometimes we make a choice that leads to a disappointment, a failure, or a loss. Yet, all our paths and choices are known by God and allowed by Him. He is with us in whatever path we choose.

Proverbs 16:9 – The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs9 his steps. (NASB)

Matthew 28:20b – And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (NASB)

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for walking with us as we venture into the unknown by the choices that we make. You already know the consequences that our choices will bring into effect, sometimes good and sometimes bad. Yet in whatever circumstance in which we find ourselves, You are there with us, in all things, always.

Rosemary Hagedorn    Midland, Ontario.