The poor pay taxes too

There is nothing wrong with sharing the wealth and it is very laudable for David Fowler to want to share his wealth with whoever he pleases [“There’s nothing wrong with sharing the wealth,” Letters, July 13, p.4]. However there are many folks out there, even more since Covid, who, not necessarily because of their own actions, still remain close to the poverty line yet still pay taxes.

There are still others who choose to continue to be self-reliant and responsible in spite of losing jobs and wealth who continue to support themselves as best they can. There are many taxpayers who just do not have wealth to share.

But he actually does make my case by quoting Robert Kennedy. He was a politician and his reply to that medical student that his future earnings would be “paying for it,” is no different than Niagara Region’s politicians happily spending more of our tax dollars to support probably the best paid group of workers in Niagara, city staff, and those in the private sector who sign contracts and profit off our taxes.

I wonder just how many entry-level workers employed by Niagara Region actually start on a minimum wage?

Andrew Watts
Wainfleet

 

Windstorm brings out the best in many

The storm that hit the Linden and Pelham street area last Wednesday caused considerable mayhem. It also brought out the best in many. Neighbours willing to assist those in need. Full commendations should go to the NPE workers who serviced our area under very difficult conditions. They were prompt, professional, and courteous. One crew managed to stop a collapse of the pole in front of my home and then replaced it. This meant I was fortunate to regain power by Thursday evening.

Sadly one cannot say the same about Cogeco. Not a truck or repair crew in sight for days even though there were cables down. When I finally in frustration called the company on Saturday (with the usual put-on-holds and canned music) the operator tells me to just reboot the modem for service. Cannot understand there are cables on the ground. Then she tells me it will take until Tuesday, six days after the storm, for anyone to come on site.

Cogeco has long forgotten that service means actual service. If you go the company’s website it shows my area is non-operational but claims its crews are “working diligently” to correct things. Want to buy some swamp gas?

Barry E.C. Boothman, Ph.D.
Fonthill

 

A library’s tree, a school’s name—history is important

Have you seen the work of art that Jean Pierre Gauthier has given us in front of Maple Acre Library, Canboro Road, Fenwick? If you haven’t, it is indeed a wonderful experience.

He has taken this tree and made it into an “honour” to all of us. You will see a First Nation’s dad and his son playing lacrosse; a mighty ox, representing our first settlers; a beaver; a doe and her fawn; the first fire brigade; Edna Elliot and a small child in the library; books on the shelves; a Pelham Panther; Steve Bauer on his bike, and so much more. What a tribute to the past and into the present.

Not much farther down the same Canboro Road, which was a trail used by our First Nation people for millennia, the District School Board of Niagara chose to take away a memorial to one of Fenwick’s honoured educators, E.W. Farr, replacing the school named after him with one named Wellington Heights.

So now we are left honouring the Duke of Wellington, a man who represents a white, male, war-centric version of history, imperial colonialism, and disregard and marginalization of First Nation peoples. History shows the Duke of Wellington, who was the hero of Waterloo for Britain, yet had no time for Canada in the War of 1812-14, declaring that the war was “unwinnable.” Historians have written and noted through his life that he was isolationist and elitist and definitely not a role model for our students attending the school nor for our society.

Shameful, isn’t it?

Vilma Moretti
Fonthill

 

MUNICIPAL MATTERS | Summerfest

Summerfest the successful result of many talents

By John Wink
Councillor, Ward 2
Town of Pelham

What can I say? Wow! The 10th annual Summerfest was a fantastic success. After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, there was much anticipation for the event to return, and the 10th annual Pelham Summerfest did not disappoint. The weather was perfect for all four days, and the people came out in droves. Summerfest started in 2011 as a one-day event to celebrate the conclusion of construction in the downtown core. Fast forward to 2022, and Summerfest has grown to a four-day event focusing on free family fun.

This year’s Thursday night kick-off combined the efforts of the Pelham Farmers Market, Summer Chill Series, Summerfest Committee, and the Fonthill Bandshell Committee. The entertainment did not disappoint, with “Simply the Best – A Tina Turner Tribute” drawing a substantial crowd.

Friday, Pelham Street was filled with food, and retail vendors, and attendees wandered through the growing crowds. The Country Night attendance was the largest I have seen since the introduction of Friday entertainment.

Saturday, I enjoyed the most as I worked in The Kids Zone in Peace Park for the entire day. Seeing the pure joy and smiles of the kids made the long day worthwhile! It was especially worthwhile knowing that many of the younger children had never experienced Pelham Summerfest before or were too young to remember the 2019 event.

Saturday was also a once-in-a-lifetime event in Pelham, with the 2022 Canada Summer Games Torch Relay event. Seeing Mayor Junkin following the first torchbearer, Rhys Evans, was a sight to behold. The torch relay is a precursor to the cycling race and the 13 for 13 Cultural event that will be hosted in Pelham on Thursday, August 18. The long-awaited return of the Pelham Arches is also anticipated by the start of the game’s events in Pelham.

Saturday during the Festival, residents shared that they enjoyed the entertainment, food offerings, and the ability to shop from local retail locations throughout the event. The Pelham Active Transportation Committee, a fixture at Pelham Summerfest, promoted walking and bicycling in Town and completed surveys to provide feedback on how active a community Pelham is. The much anticipated Saturday night entertainment on the newly relocated main stage did not disappoint, as Town Square rocked with local bands, and the street was packed with attendees.

Sunday was a lower-key day with activities in Peace Park. The Car Show has become a staple event on Sunday, and 100-plus classic cars were displayed this year. The day started with a pancake breakfast prepared by the Summerfest Committee members and was served by Pelham’s CAO and some council members. Councillor Olson proved that he was a pro at making pancakes. During the day, young families played on the bouncers, enjoyed mini golf, and were delighted by buskers. It was an excellent finish to the weekend to chill in the park and listen to jazz music from the bandshell stage.

One of the most enjoyable things about Summerfest is that it is a homecoming event. Past residents who grew up in Fonthill and have since moved try to come back to be with family and friends during this event. This year, in particular, was special because I ran into people I had not seen for years. On Friday night, after I finished my shift tending bar at 8, it took me over an hour to get from Town Square to just a bit down Pelham Street because I kept running into friends and stopped to chat.

Events such as Pelham Summerfest would not happen without the support of local businesses. A special thank you to all of the sponsors for their generous support. A complete listing of all event sponsors can be found on the Pelham Summerfest website.

Events such as Pelham Summerfest, Summer Chill series, all the Town parades, seasonal celebrations, and so on make Pelham a welcoming community and a great place to live. Seeing the support received from residents by attending the events is encouraging. Still, these events do not occur without the support of sponsors, vendors and entertainers and, in particular, the Town staff’s dedication to bringing these events to the community. I want to give a special thank you to the Director of Recreation, Culture and Wellness, Vickie vanRavenswaay, for her tireless efforts with her entire RCW staff, who follow her lead willingly to bring Summerfest to Pelham. To the Town Public Works staff, who work doing all the behind-the-scenes logistics for the event, the bylaw staff for providing support, and all the staff who volunteered their time to support this event, thank you.

As Chair of the Summerfest Committee, I would like to extend my appreciation to the seven community volunteers and the six Town employees that work to make Summerfest happen.

Planning for Summerfest started early this year, and the committee’s efforts came to fruition with the 10th annual event. The number of hours the team dedicated to planning and executing the event was phenomenal, and it has been an honour to work with these dedicated individuals.

Thank you to all who attended, and for those who missed it, I invite you to come and “Chill on the Hill” at Pelham Summerfest in 2023. See you on the hill!