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Letters & Op-Ed, July 7 2021

Snakes on a plain The first year we moved in to our house and before we had grass, there was a large snake curled up in the dirt in front of the house. I think it looked like this photo [Rattlesnakes in Pelham?, June 30, p.14].

Snakes on a plain

The first year we moved in to our house and before we had grass, there was a large snake curled up in the dirt in front of the house. I think it looked like this photo [Rattlesnakes in Pelham?, June 30, p.14]. No rattle, but when my father put his work boot in front of the snake it struck out at it a couple of times.

Mr. Schaub (our only neighbour at the time) and my father discussed the possibility that it was a rattler that lost its rattle. My father took a large shovel, gently scooped it up, and walked it across the street and tossed it in the fields (Leslie Hills). He didn't want to kill it.

Rosie Culos Via Facebook

  Absence of councillor comment noted

It doesn’t surprise me in the least that the "Gang of Four" didn't have the decency to let their constituents know their feelings about this horrendous situation we as a country find ourselves in, on top of everything else that has gone on the last couple of years [As the nation enters its second pandemic summer, a time for reflection, reconciliation, hope, June 30, p.3].

I was pleased with the contributions by CAO Cribbs and Councillor Olson. Not all negative but informational as well.

I too am appalled at the findings, but we also have to remember these things happened over 100 years ago. There is no evidence, yet, that these graves weren't a saving grace to the families as well as being a tragic event. There is no proof yet that these children, and maybe a few adults, didn't die of disease at that time. Remember cholera and the Spanish flu, and typhoid and other horrible things happened.

Who among us has the right to judge. Be horrified, be sad, be angry, be supportive, but let's wait for the forensic results. To stop life from going on isn't the answer. To protest without proof positive isn't either.

We've been treated as children for the last two years by our governments. Isn't it time we decide for ourselves whether or not to celebrate a wonderful country which, yes, was built on the backs of others, but our country is not alone in all of this.

Maybe we don't need the hoopla of a celebration, but we should still be allowed to wave the flag and express our own opinions. We are after all a free nation.

J. Quick-Vlijm Fonthill


Plenty of blame to go around, but now we need to listen

To lose a child, under any circumstances, is a parent’s worse nightmare. I sympathize with everyone who belongs to this horrible “club” for which there is no word.

As parents we would take a bullet for our children. We are there to nurture and protect, no matter their age.

I lost my son when he was 53 years old to cancer. No one ripped him from my arms when he was five, took him away, never to know his fate. How horrible!

We cannot turn the clock back and tearing down statues will not change history. Residential schools ran until 1998. So, if you think about it, every Prime Minister from Sir. John A. MacDonald to Jean Chretien knew about residential schools and did nothing. Every G.G., Premier, Pope, Cardinal, Bishop, etc. knew about them also, and did nothing. What should we do about all these people who had the knowledge and did nothing?

As an “ordinary” person who had very little knowledge until recently what could I have done? Now what can I do? What can we all do?

Everyone grieves in their own way. Don’t tell me to “get over it, time heals all, they are in a better place.” We have no business telling our Indigenous people how to grieve such horrendous findings.

What about if we start listening? Don’t talk, don’t make any suggestions. Listen and pay attention to what is being said. All of us can do that—whether it is us “ordinary” people or the Pope, Prime Minister, Premier, etc.—you get the picture.

I am first generation Canadian and proud of it. I am proud of all the “good” that Canada stands for. Our country is made up of people and as humans we makes mistakes. Hopefully, we can learn from them and do better. I believe we can.

Talking about having knowledge: how is it that the DSBN knew about the Duke of Wellington’s character and still named our school after him? He was a racist, anti-Jewish, pro-slavery, didn’t respect the treaties with our First Nations, and certainly had nothing to do with Fenwick. In light of everything that has happened— from George Floyd to the finding of the childrens’ graves—perhaps there will be an opportunity to review that naming decision and do the right thing. Hopefully, that time will come soon.

Vilma Moretti Fonthill


Roadway litter a sad sight

I ride my bike two to three times a week, and my route is down Haist Street past Harold Black Park to Foss Road, then to Effingham, which brings me to the purpose of this letter. All along my route to my utter disgust I see plastic bottles, Tim Horton cups, empty beer cans, and, even worse, bags of trash thrown on the side of the road. It goes without saying and to my utter contempt I cannot contemplate what one is thinking when doing these hideous acts. I am very conscious about our environment and can only hope that these individuals will one day be held accountable.

L. Spendiff Fonthill


"Does anyone else care?"

By way of this letter, my thanks to John Swart for his column, “Wait, our trees can do all that?” [The Balanced Life, June 23, p.18.] Anyone wishing to learn more about trees might consider the writings of Canadian Diana Beresford Kroeger, and her amazing discoveries and experiences.

Also, as a “tree hugger” for at least 60 years, and a Fonthill resident since 1974, I encourage readers to review, and comment on, the Town’s ongoing revision of the current (approved in 2020) “Tree Planting, Maintenance Replacement Guideline.” I encourage the involvement because it is my belief that the existing guideline has contributed over decades to the ongoing abuse, damage, and death of our existing, and, hoped-for future tree cover on boulevards and in parks.

Should a reader wish to see this firsthand, please visit the following sites: Hurleston Community Park, Harold Black Park, the storm water retention pond area at the southeast corner of Rice Road, and the southern loop of Rosewood Crescent at the Canada Post mail kiosk. This latter referenced site is an especially obvious and distressing blatant lack of appropriate care when riding lawn mowers and powered trimmers are used. There is a better way! Hopefully the revised policy will be adopted and proper funding and human resources will follow.

Trees and shrubs have bark (and roots) for a reason and do not respond well when ripped off (or torn from the earth) by plastic cords rotating at high speeds.

Does anyone else see this? Does anyone else care about this? If so, I would be happy to show you what I have written about. Contact me by phone at 905-788-1431.

Glenn Meyers Fonthill



Do no harm—a pledge to the environment

Regardless of one’s beliefs as to the causes of global warming, there remains an obligation to take good care of our environment. Whether you believe the diminution in the quality of the elements that sustain life are the consequence of man-made activities or part of an earthy cycle makes no difference. However, most scientists report that we have seen the enemy and it is us. We are experiencing some unusual and disastrous changes to the norms of our planet’s systems. Scientists have stated as the worst-case scenario, if these trends continue, it could mean an end to life as we know it.

There are many large industrial organizations around the globe that have huge carbon footprints that must be reduced. But that is another story. Each of us as an individual shares the obligation to eliminate our own negative assaults on the environment. Alarmingly, some environmental scientists warn that we are nearing a point of no return. That means at some point in the not too distant future we will not be able to reverse the deterioration of the life-sustaining elements of air, water and vegetation.

For instance, if we do not become more actively and knowledgeably engaged in our recycling efforts, we continue to irreparably harm the environment. Unless we change the attitude that it is someone else’s responsibility, then our communal environment suffers the consequences.

Contrary to our knowledge about the harmful effects of the exhaust from internal combustion engines, we continue to build more vehicles and roadways to add to the vast amount of pollution petroleum-fuelled vehicles produce.

How is it that we continue to use the amount of nearly in-destructible plastics we then discard with reckless abandon? It is remarkably bilious that so much one-use plastic litters our roadways, rivers, lakes and oceans. This litter is literally choking the aquatic life in our waterways.

There are some solutions on the horizon to help heal our beleaguered planet. Projects such as harnessing solar energy, developing alternates to petroleum-based fuels, chimney scrubbers, and eliminating the dumping of waste onto our land and into our waterways, are all in their infancy. These and other eco-friendly measures need be a priority immediately if our planet is to recover from the assaults we have so recklessly committed for so long.

Unfortunately, the severity of the damage we continue to inflict on the environment has not been realized by enough people and many have not yet been sufficiently inclined to commit to saving the planet. Events such as the recent super-heated weather in western Canada sometimes catche our attention. We then all too quickly forget that it is we who are largely responsible for contributing to the causes of such disastrous events. Before you dismiss such an allegation ask a simple question: what did we do today to reduce our negative impacts on the environment? If we did not do something positive to change our damaging ways and help clean up the environment then we are are, simply, guilty.

Hopefully, we can change. Mark your calendar today and make a daily pledge to do something to contribute to the better health of our once-pristine planet. Maybe, just maybe, in response to such kindnesses Mother Earth will respond in kind.


PELHAM AND COVID-19 | Mayor Marvin Junkin

Trend in new cases continues downward

Covid numbers continue to drop across the country as several provinces drastically reduced Covid protocols as of July 1. For the first time in ten months, Ontario registered less than 200 new cases a day, on June 30, with a seven-day average of 259.

Niagara Region has seen our daily new cases in the single digits, although Canada Day saw 14 new cases. Pelham’s active cases increased by two over the previous week, bringing our number to six.

Niagara Region has reached 463,000 total vaccinations, which represents 66 percent of the Region’s population, with 30 percent of our residents having received both shots. With vaccination numbers rising and Covid numbers falling, perhaps the Province will move up the date of the Stage 3 reopening process?

The Town’s Canada Day celebrations were well received by residents, with large numbers of visitors attending the reverse parade held at Centennial Park in Fenwick. Councillors Hildebrandt, Olson, Stewart, and Wink were present to greet the residents, who remained in their cars as they drove the parade route. Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff was also in attendance, splitting his time amongst his constituents. The weather was perfect, with the showers holding off until later in the day. Kudos to Town staff for all their hard work and great effort that they put into this day, making it a huge success.

Pelham Cares had a booth set up on the parade route, and as always Pelham residents were generous in their donations of both groceries and cash support. As great as this event was, I for one, am hopeful that next year we can return to our Haist Street parade route, so that we can once again witness the water wars between the firefighters and the kids of the town.