Kore, Haun owe Mayor an apology

I could not believe what I witnessed while watching last week’s Town Council meeting this weekend on YouTube. Councillor Ron Kore deliberately insulted Mayor Junkin by saying about him, “I don’t think the shoes are that big,” meaning the Mayor’s abilities to lead.

This caused Councillor Lisa Haun to respond with the most disgusting display of sarcastic facial expressions that I have ever seen during a meeting of elected officials.

They should both be ashamed of their unacceptable and childish behavior, and they both owe the Mayor an apology. I believe their conduct violates Town policy and I intend to follow up with the Town on this issue on Monday morning.

Of course I do not hold my breath for such apologies. This pair has proved repeatedly that they have no ability to think of anything beyond their own interests, and do not know the meaning of the word “shame.”

J. Fournier
Ridgeville

 

Mixed signals from Hildebrandt on climate measures

It seems like Green Bob Hildebrandt has discovered climate change.

According to Green Bob, “We are on the cusp of making major and positive changes.” [Municipal Matters, “We are living in transformative times,” June 22, p.5.] Does that mean that Green Bob now endorses Build It Right the First Time, as endorsed by 50by30? He voted against endorsing it not very long ago.

What about parking? Green Bob wants to pave more parking spots for our developers. Let’s give our new transit a chance.

Will the real Green Bob please stand up?

Joe Spencer
Fenwick

 

Critical of Coren’s take

Rev. Michael Coren’s column entitled “When followers of Christ are the least Christian” that appeared in the Voice in the June 22 edition makes several helpful observations but also commits logical errors that undermine his point of view. The errors I am referring to are usually called arguments from silence. The idea is simple. You cannot draw any conclusions from what someone does not say. Imagine, for example, that in a prosecutor’s concluding arguments in a murder trial, he says, “The defendant never said that he didn’t kill the victim, so he must have!” I am confident that most of us can see that this is false reasoning.

Rev. Coren makes similar arguments from silence. Saying it is possible that a centurion asking for healing for his slave was in a same sex union is one such example. There is nothing in the text to support that idea and to think that the sick person is both his “slave” and somehow his “same-sex” partner at the same time does more than strain credulity—it breaks it completely.

Rev. Coren is quite right that Jesus never addressed the issue of homosexuality, but it is incoherent to conclude from that, that therefore, Jesus supported it! Jesus never gave us his opinion on sexual abuse, sex trafficking, pedophilia, slavery, the Roman occupation of Judea, or many, many other topics. Does Rev. Coren think that since Jesus did not mention these atrocities he approved of them?

Now, Jesus did express his opinion on marriage in general. In Mat. 19, he was asked about his opinion on divorce. Part of his answer, in v4-6, is a strong affirmation of the model for marriage from the Garden of Eden.

I believe that we should stick to what we have in the gospels that Jesus actually did say and not make assumptions based on what he didn’t.

Gerald Britton
Fonthill

 

Appreciates Coren’s take

I’m a queer Christian, and sometimes the flood of hatred from other Christians feels so overwhelming [Common Decency, “When followers of Christ are the least Christian,” June 22, p.6]. Reading this was like a breath of fresh air. You gave me hope. Thank you.

Esther Jones
Via Voice website

 

Banning single-use plastics

Plastic is everywhere. We use it in packaging, construction, agriculture, automobiles, electronics, textiles, and medical equipment.

While plastic has revolutionized our lives, plastic pollution has emerged as a key environmental issue worldwide.

Of the four million tonnes of plastic waste that is thrown away in Canada every year, only 8 percent is recycled. The rest ends up in landfills and our natural environment, littering our parks, beaches, streets, and other places we value. Plastic pollution chokes wildlife and clogs waterways. It breaks down into tiny pieces, ending up in the soil, oceans, and air, and even our drinking water and food.

We have to change this. It’s what Canadians are asking for. Now is the time for action.

Just recently, our federal government announced we are banning some of the most common and harmful single-use plastics, including plastic checkout bags, plastic cutlery, six-pack rings, stir sticks, straws, and certain hard-to-recycle food containers like clamshells.

While the domestic production and import of these harmful single-use plastics will be banned at the end of this year, Canadian businesses like restaurants can use them until the end of next year, which gives them time to adjust.

Over the next decade, this world-leading ban on harmful single-use plastics will result in the estimated elimination of over 1.3 million tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic waste.

This is all about creating cleaner communities and a cleaner environment. It’s about giving Canadians the sustainable alternatives they’re asking for and developing new business opportunities in a greener economy.

This ban represents an historic step in our government’s promise to cut plastic waste from across our society, wherever possible.

But we know we cannot ban our way out of this problem. Plastic will remain a useful part of our lives. Our government’s plan is about responsibly managing plastic so it stays in the economy and stops polluting our environment.

Our comprehensive plan will also mean plastic manufacturers will have to use 50 percent recycled plastic in any plastic products they make, and that the “chasing-arrows” recycling symbol on products can only be used if we know these products can actually be recycled in Canada.

These are just good, common sense management measures. And they will help to grow our economy towards a more circular management of waste products that is proven to generate jobs and reduce business costs.

Canadians have been very clear. They want to get plastic pollution off our streets, out of our water, and out of our environment. With the proper tools and rules in place, a better, greener, and more circular economy awaits.

Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Canada

 

A return to tradition as pandemic, we hope, recedes

In the Cribbs household, Canada Day has always meant strawberry picking, making jam and a pie (make a shortbread crust, add a can of whipped cream and you get a beautiful and delicious red and white pie!), visiting with friends and family, and finishing with fireworks. Rain means we buy the strawberries rather than pick them ourselves, but otherwise everything stays the same. It’s a wonderful day that our adult children continue to insist upon sharing with us. Truthfully there are few days in the year which I enjoy as much.

What I’ve found in my time here is that Pelham is a fabulous place for berry picking, that every part of Niagara has way better fireworks, on average, than anywhere else that I have lived (a local culture thing which I suspect you can only appreciate if you’ve lived elsewhere) and that the people of Niagara have a lot to celebrate and a lot for which to be grateful. As Covid recedes, and regardless of our politics, we can all agree that it was terrible ordeal, and that we’re still here and we’re still standing.

While the world feels different, I want to assure residents that some important things at Town Hall haven’t changed: yet again Pelham won an award for financial reporting and transparency, and yet again we were the first in Niagara to file out financial returns. Your tax dollars remain well managed. For the first time ever the Town won a provincial Public Works Award for best environmental reconstruction (the first phase of the Sulphur Springs Road Project). Yet again, we had two Town staff win “Top 40 under 40 in Niagara” awards. Staff are busy working on end-of-term projects, the most significant of which is the Town’s completely rebuilt Zoning Bylaw.

So what’s next on the community’s agenda? As prices come in on construction projects, Town Council and the administration are seeing the effects of inflation. The cumulative effect of the cost increases will either mean that we do less road reconstruction work or that it will cost more, which will require using some of the Town’s reserves. Those decisions will rest with this and with future councils. Beyond that, there is of course the upcoming municipal election in October. Residents have until August 19 at 2:30 PM to register themselves as candidates for office. Renewal of council’s mandate will lead to a new strategic plan, which in turn means new priorities, whatever those may be. Residents who want to see specific outcomes are encouraged to run for council or make their preferences known to candidates. There is really no substitute for democratic participation.

Looked at holistically, I must say that while inflation is scary, overall Pelham’s future is bright. I really look forward to seeing what opportunities will arise and what we will make of them. Those however are serious thoughts for another day. For now I’m going to pick some strawberries, eat some pie, watch some fireworks and feel really grateful to be part of Pelham. Happy Canada Day!

David Cribbs
CAO, Town of Pelham

 

MUNICIPAL MATTERS | Funeral planning, burial, and cremation in Pelham

By BELINDA RAVAZZOLO
Executive Assistant, Town of Pelham

Death and the loss of a loved one is always a difficult and painful experience. With respect to death, the Town has a suite of services for residents. It is good to know about them prior to needing them, as having to navigate an unfamiliar process at such a bad time can make everything feel even worse.

If you have responsibility to help with funeral arrangements, please consider the following:

Firstly, using a funeral home can be very helpful as one of their services is to oversee the burial process with the Town. Funeral homes can also assist with the death notification process at both upper levels of government. There are two funeral homes located in the Town of Pelham, and two others very proximate in Thorold and Welland.

Pelham maintains two cemeteries. The Fonthill Cemetery is located at 25 Highland Avenue, and the Hillside Cemetery is located at 451 Canboro Road. The Town is responsible for perpetual care and maintenance in each and the opening and closing of the graves.

Because death is inevitable, it is possible to preplan for the event. Anyone, resident or not, can purchase a plot in one of the Town’s cemeteries. For residents, in 2022 the price of a grave is $646, while the price of a niche in the columbaria (for ashes) is $2,346. In addition, there are burial and interment fees, which vary by day of the week. Full details can be found at the Town’s website: pelham.ca

Members of the public are welcome to contact Town staff directly (services are usually offered on the second floor of Town Hall). Staff can assist with the process of choosing either burial plot or columbaria niche and staff will identify available locations. The purchase of a lot entitles the purchaser to an Interment Rights Certificate for the land, which guarantees its use for a particular family or household.

Unfortunately, the Town is obligated to receive payment prior to the day of interment. Before an interment can be scheduled, the Town requires proof of interment rights holder and burial certificate for a full casket burial or proof of interment rights holder and cremation certificate for a cremation burial. These documents will be arranged by a funeral home, should you utilize their services.

Pelham does not provide or sell vaults or monuments, which if desired must be arranged through private third party businesses. While this was likely not a fun column to read, we hope the information helps during a difficult time.

 

COTE’S COMMENTS | Larry Coté

On becoming a Golden Ager

Gaining membership in the assemblage of seniors is not always a jubilant event. It is not an especially welcomed milestone. Some people gain entry to the seniors’ group earlier than others. Many fight like the devil to cosmetically delay the event. None look forward to that inevitable status with eager anticipation.

The benefits of aging are few and far between unless one thinks getting up in the morning with nothing on the agenda is a meaningful lifestyle. For many rank and file seniors, there is a scarcity of memorable moments to deposit in the memory bank. That is one of the reasons that recalling old memories can be so enjoyable and opportunities to create new ones are so rare.

The list of foibles associated with aging is too lengthy to rattle off here. However, a few might forewarn the younger set what is in store for them when confronted by the inevitability of seniority.

First off is what happens to what was once a lithe, healthy body. Inevitably, the lithe leaves the limbs and is replaced by creaky joints that hurt when called upon to move. When inquiring of the doctors as to why these body parts hurt so much so often, they simply diagnose the elderly as having “TMB” — a condition not yet listed in the Merck Manual as Too Many Birthdays.

Here is a less than welcomed realism associated with aging. The pace of one’s once almost-decent golf score begins to out pace the number of years detailed on the drivers license. It is a sure sign of aging to blame old clubs for such growth in handicap numbers. So the resolve is to replace the clubs with the ill-conceived notion that new technically advanced clubs will overcome the degeneracy of aging.

Another of the foibles associated with entry into the seniors ranks is having to deal with technology. How embarrassing to ask a 12-year old how to make a simple telephone call on a device smugly labelled as a smart phone. It gets worse when one tries to connect an ancient desktop PC to join a virtual family visitation on a newfangled something called Zoom.

Some misguided person labelled the period for the elderly as the Golden Age. Evidently, whoever coined that name did not know the science of metallurgy. A person from that scientific discipline would more accurately define that specific genealogical era as the Iron Oxide Age— more commonly known as rust.

However, in truth, it is better that seniors should look at the best things about the status they have earned. Look at all the retail outlets and other services that offer discounts on seniors’ days. Also, a rather unknown benefit is that seniors are always the first to be released in kidnapping scenarios. Whether such a release is on compassionate grounds or that seniors do not command much ransom is, as yet, to be determined.

And so, the next time you encounter a senior, treat them with respect. You will be one sooner than you’ll wish.