Open letter to Councillor Bob Hildebrandt

Reading of your stance against proof of vaccinations gave me the jitters [Vaxx proof for elected officials passes as Hildebrandt, Stewart vote against, Oct. 27, p.3].

You are an elected official and you are now publicly flouting a safety measure which only encourages others including anti-vaxxers. You are right when you say you can’t be fired, only voted out. Thanks for the invite, you are definitely not getting my vote next election.

I can’t fathom what possible excuse you may have and relying on your management and engineering background brooks no argument with so many of us. Frankly you are becoming tiresome and I am encouraging my neighbors to join me in voting you out of office.

Joseph Serge Bouchard
Fonthill

 

The morality of the Short Hills deer hunt

Last fall I was excited to discover Short Hills Provincial Park in Pelham, a new place for me to hike and experience nature. My excitement was short-lived when I found out that

it was also a place where the hunting of deer occurred. As a vegan and opposed to the exploitation of animals I felt it was important to express my position on hunting, especially in a provincial park, and I decided to attend the vigil opposing the hunt. It was only when I arrived that I learned that the hunt was a Ministry sanctioned Indigenous hunt and that the Ministry of Natural Resources (now the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks) started the hunts in 2013 as an apparent deer herd reduction program even though no Environmental Assessment was ever done. I also learned that since the hunts began there have been numerous ongoing issues with residents and those that oppose the hunts to do with trespassing, public safety, hunting protocol violations, and damage to the park from the hunts, that have not been addressed or resolved.

I understand that our federal government has historically made treaty agreements with the Indigenous people to define specific rights, benefits and obligations as a means to identify rights to occupy and use lands and protect their traditional way of life. As we all know, not honouring these agreements has created complex issues. As an ardent advocate of Indigenous rights I support efforts to make right the inequities and injustices that they have faced.

So I found myself having to evaluate my beliefs about the treaty rights where hunting and fishing are concerned. Does legality equal morality? Is something acceptable just because the law says so? Factory farming is legal in Canada. Does that make it acceptable? Dog fighting, cock fighting, bullfighting, female genital mutilation are all legal in countries where they are practiced. Are they moral practices? Is Indigenous hunting and fishing moral then just because there are treaties that exist that ensure the right to do so? For me the answer is no.

Further, is something a moral or acceptable practice simply because it is a tradition? If we can excuse using or killing animals by saying that it forms part of our culture don’t we then have to excuse every other cultural and traditional practice. We would have to excuse the Chinese Yulin Dog Meat Festival, the Japanese Taiji Dolphin Drive Hunt, the killing of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands, and the chicken slaughter in the Jewish tradition of Kaporos. Should we excuse these practices? Again, for me the answer is no.

We cannot continue to mistake the idea of tradition with animal cruelty and abuse. Indigenous animal husbandry has been around for thousands of years but that doesn’t mean it is moral or that it has to continue.

Finally, no provincial park should be killing grounds for hunters where hikers come across “gut piles” and dead deer that were injured but got away and then died. Parks are suppose to be places where people go to to coexist with nature.

Linda Chenoweth
Hamilton

 

Remembering Lloyd Beamer, hope for future

I read with sadness of the recent passing of Lloyd Beamer of Beamer’s Hardware. When we arrived in Fonthill in the fall of 1983, the store was owned and operated by the Wilson Brothers, but in 1986 Lloyd purchased the hardware store as a retirement project, and then worked the store for the next 35 years!

It hasn’t changed a lot over the years and perhaps that is part of its appeal. I remember we used to have a charge account at the store and whenever our young sons needed anything, they had my permission to buy it at Beamer’s and I’d straighten the account up at the end of each month.

Retailing has changed a lot over the years with the advent of big box stores and online shopping. But the convenience and friendly atmosphere of the small, old time hardware store has kept us and others coming back year after year.

I’ll miss Lloyd’s smiling face, his easygoing demeanor and his always-ready-to-help attitude. I hope his family, who have been involved in the business, will continue to operate it for years to come. I know we’ll continue to patronize it.

Rick Woodward
Fonthill

 

Open letter to the Town of Pelham

We are sending this letter in support of Councillor Wayne Olson’s motion that celebrates next year as the Year of the Garden in Pelham. We at the Pelham Tree Conservation Society think this motion will be a blooming success in greening our town.

We also believe that more gardens create more ways to absorb rainfall which helps reduce flooding. We believe it’s time the Town of Pelham acknowledges that both trails, the Gerry Berkhout Trail and the Steve Bauer Trail, also be recognized as Native Flora Gardens as well as Pollinator Corridors.

We would like to see any new gardens that are established for this celebration use native plants. In the past year, members of the Pelham Tree Conservation Society have been recording a large variety of native flora growing along the Steve Bauer Trail between Port Robinson and Merritt Roads, which have great value. We look forward to participating in this very worthy project.

Mike Jones, Chair
Pelham Tree Conservation Society

 

COTE’S COMMENTS | Larry Coté

Life is full of wonders

Recently, we had a visit to our home by two of our three great- grandchildren. These little ones are truly gifts from heaven. Livia is five years of age and Tristan is only two. It was an uplifting experience for us as this pandemic has kept us from in- person encounters. Nonetheless, we did manage to keep up weekly Zoom meetings. Our other great-grandchild, Evie, lives in Sydney, NS. and we virtually visit her on a regular basis. These virtuals were great for us to see these little folks in their early stages of development.

For elders, such technologies cause wonderment while our progeny are more blasé about such advancements. Our age group marvelled when Bell switched our operator-assisted phones to units with a rotary dial. Now, we need attend seminars to learn to use cell phones that impudently claim to be smarter than us.

After that visit from our great-grandkids, I got to wondering what sort of world these youngsters will experience. In my 80-plus years I have experienced the “modernization” of nearly every aspect of life. What advancement in technology and society will occur during their lifetimes? The so-called advancements in technology, medicine, transportation and other areas will continue to occur at a pace and in ways elders cannot fathom.

Who would have imagined private flight into space as a tourism option? Such flights are a little more pricey than ocean cruises but will likely be available to many more in the future.

Take television for example. Our first television screen was not much bigger than a saucer and as blurry as looking through a frosted window. We had wires running from a rooftop antenna through to where the TV was set up in what used to be prime living space. Telecasting started at some time mid-morning and ended about eight in the evening. Kukla, Fran and Ollie and Howdy Doody telecasts were prime entertainment fare for the whole family.

But beyond technology, what other of life’s experiences will our little ones face? In recent times, the practices and moralities of politics have changed dramatically. In the view of many, some of those practices do not appear to be for the better. Respect for politicians has eroded to below the lowest of occupations. People are too often committing questionable behaviours in the practice of politics. Many protests are more riotous than righteous and more destructive than instructive.

Perhaps one of the most admired advancements will continue to be in pharmacology and medicine. The advancements in medicine resulting in life-saving and healing are just short of miraculous. Vaccines have eradicated diseases, medicines have made lives more livable, free of pain and surgical procedures have righted many wrongs with the body.

There are many other changes to be grateful for and a few others to be concerned about. But, nonetheless, it is our most ardent prayer that our little ones will enjoy a safer, healthier and more peaceful life in their futures. So be it.

 

PELHAM AND COVID-19 | Mayor Marvin Junkin

Niagara’s pleasingly “boring” Covid stats; Sulphur Spring

The ongoing economic reopening across the country in the form of loosened public health restrictions on indoor and outdoor dining throughout the summer, combined with warm summer weather and expanded patio capacity, all contributed positively to the third consecutive strong monthly economic gain. Food service and drinking places rose 5.4 percent in August, which follows an 8.1 percent gain in July. With indoor restrictions on capacity now eliminated, it should follow that the food services industry will continue to rebound, which is great news for our area restaurants, which, like all restaurants across Canada, have been struggling to survive the last 18 months.

Niagara Covid numbers continue to be boring to report, and, in this case, boring is good. Pelham’s active cases have remained the same, no hospitalized cases from Pelham and our vaccination rate of 83.3 percent continues to be higher than the Region’s 76.9 percent.

The Province continues to vaccinate approximately 20,000 residents daily, so slowly but surely our vaccination rate for the province continues to rise, currently being at 84%.

Last Saturday, October 30, I had the pleasure along with Councillor Olson, of joining a group of Trout Unlimited volunteers as they concluded the 2021 tree planting season. This programme was funded primarily by the Great Lakes Local Community Action Fund and the NPCA. During the month of October, scouts, school groups, nature clubs, and community-minded individuals have helped Trout Unlimited with the plantings, which have totalled some 1500 trees and shrubs.

During the early days of the Sulphur Spring Drive project when emotions were running a tad high over, first, lack of permits, followed by ordered work stoppages, I had received information from a third party that Trout Unlimited was a least partly to blame for these occurrences. Since then I have had assurances that this was not the case. Trout Unlimited and the Town of Pelham have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work at rehabilitating the Twelve Mile Creek, and we will continue to work together on this great environmental project.