Letters – Our readers write: Winter 2008
Letters published in the WINTER 2008 edition of In The Hills magazine.
Value of geothermal rebates in question
First, despite the impression I might give in the rest of this letter, I would like to thank you for your marvellously informative, always interesting, high-quality publication. It is exceptionally well produced and deserves many awards.
Regarding Jeff Rollings’ story on geothermal energy (Autumn ’08), I was one of many who attended a presentation in the Caledon Community Centre covering the government rebate program administered by Hydro One.
There were very few certified contractors available on the provided list to complete the projects by February 2009. Those few who were there were already booked up. Supply and demand dictate that they could name their own price. Not an attractive prospect for the customer.
The authors of this program didn’t seem to realize that the ground freezes for most of the winter in Canada. Putting Hydro One in charge of this program provoked some comments about foxes and hen houses.
To have the Ontario Government granting $7,000 per geothermal project, providing certain conditions were met, also provoked suspicion among the more seasoned observers. “What can be the catch?” they asked.
Well, there is another branch of government called MPAC and they are just salivating to reassess the property that you have improved. What the province giveth, the region and municipality taketh away in increased property assessments.
One of the presenters pointed out that there is better thermal contact for the loop systems if you place them in a pond as opposed to the ground. Someone in the audience asked, “How do I get a pond permit from the Town of Caledon?” which produced a few chuckles as we all know that the newly empowered “conservation” branches of government would prevent that.
I put most of this in a message to Dalton McGuinty asking what is the point of incentives if they are swallowed up and confounded by other tiers of government. His eventual reply is below. I have not heard from either Minister Duncan or Minister Smitherman.
Colin Lewis, Caledon
Dalton McGuinty’s response to Colin Lewis:
Thanks for your online message regarding alternative energy projects and government rebates. Your views are important to me, and I’m grateful that you took the time to share your ideas with me.
Our government recognizes that a plan to deal with climate change, which makes us less dependent on carbon-based fuels, is vital for a greener Ontario. By supporting green technology like wind and solar energy, we’re helping to reduce greenhouse gases and the harmful emissions that cause smog.
I appreciate the issues you raised about increased property assessments for homeowners who undertake energy-efficient projects. As your concerns fall under the responsibility of my colleagues, the Honourable Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable George Smitherman, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, I have passed on a copy of your online message to them for their information.
Thanks again for contacting me. I welcome and value your input. Please accept my best wishes.
Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario
The ladies at the Garden Party
I am writing on behalf of a senior friend of mine, Bessie Fines. She’s been given a copy of your summer issue. Much to her surprise and delight, in the picture used by Dufferin County Museum to advertise its garden party on August 17, the two ladies kneeling in the front are her mother-in-law, Lottie Manning, and her mother, Elizabeth McKenna.
She asked me to contact you. As much as she has studied it, she cannot figure out where the picture was taken or the occasion. She actually recognizes a few other people too, but she said that seeing the two people closest to her brought tears to her eyes.
Do you have any information about this picture? It would make Bess so excited to find out anything you could tell us.
Heather O’Neil, Mississauga
Steve Brown, archivist, Dufferin County Museum and Archives, responds:
Thanks for your interest in our photograph. It certainly got a lot of attention as well as helping us promote our museum garden party.
The photograph came into our collection with only a few people identified – see the caption below the photo. The photograph was taken in Orangeville between 1965 and 1970, in the Bythia-Lawrence-Dawson area. Our first guess was that it was a photo of members of the Orangeville Women’s Institute, but it may also have been a group from the Orangeville Senior Citizens’ Club.
Could you ask Bessie if she remembers any other women in the picture? We would love to be able to add more names to our list. Thanks for any help you may be able to give us.
Beavers and schemes
I’m an avid In the Hills reader. My copies stay on my coffee table for all to enjoy. I’m just a little late on my readings, and must say, “Great spring issue!” I found the “Leave it to Beaver” story by Don Scallen most informative. Who knew? Now that we know how important beavers are to our eco-system, I’m sure people will not want to have those fuzzy creative creatures deliberately killed on their properties. They can find ways to resolve any issues. Beavers do deserve to live on these lands like all animals we share our earth with.
Also, huge applause goes out to writer Jeff Rollings for his “Field of Schemes” story. This story is so thorough. It helped me to understand exactly what is going on, since it has been so hard to follow along in the newspaper with all those conflicting headlines. Let’s keep a strong voice here in Caledon, to love and protect our land, and to only share the land as deemed appropriate after much wise thought, not money influence.
Heather Stock, Caledon
Stable Tour a Success
I want to thank In the Hills for your support of our inaugural Headwaters Stable Tour, an undertaking of the Hills of Headwaters Tourism Association. The story about the tour in your summer issue was a tremendous boost for our profile and brought considerable attention to this new event.
The Headwaters Stable Tour was an overwhelming success, with visitors coming not only from the Headwaters region, but also from across Ontario to visit some of the finest equine establishments in the province. Despite less than perfect weather on the weekend of September 13th and 14th, we estimate that over 4,000 visitors came to our region, visited our stables and equine facilities, and no doubt spent some tourism dollars shopping, dining and visiting our other local attractions.
I would also like to thank all our corporate sponsors, including our presenting sponsors: Best Western Orangeville Inn & Suites, Budson Farm and Feed, Hallmark Toyota and Pfaff Audi, as well as all our other sponsors and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism.
Thank you also to the fourteen sites that opened their doors to the public for the weekend. Without their hard work and commitment this event would never have taken place. In return, we hope we provided a showcase for their businesses, both within our own community and to a greater audience throughout the province.
Finally, a huge note of thanks to our volunteer committee who worked tirelessly for over a year, dedicating hundreds and hundreds of hours to put this event together. Their passion and commitment were awe-inspiring.
Based on the success of this year’s tour, we’re already planning next year’s event – so mark your calendars for the weekend of October 3 and 4, and check in regularly at www.horsesinthehills.ca for new sites, activities and details as they develop. We anticipate next year’s event will be even bigger and better!
Thank you again. In the Hills’ commitment to our region and our communities is evident in every issue of your magazine.
Michele Harris, for the Headwaters Stable Tour committee
Reaction to The Grave Robber
The short story, “The Grave Robber” (autumn ’08) was excellent, and I was wondering if you know of any books that have been published by the author Jayne Self. I enjoy the magazine every time it comes out.
Marilyn Taylor, Orangeville
Jayne Self is the author of one, as-yet-unpublished novel.
Thanks for a great magazine. I have enjoyed reading the articles and perusing the advertising. Unfortunately I was not too impressed by “The Grave Robber” short story. I had given it to my young daughter to read and after I read it myself realized it had a Christian slant. Unless, of course, this is the focus of the magazine, I didn’t think it was appropriate for a periodical to publish this type of article. If a family chooses they can get this elsewhere. I would prefer it not be delivered into my home.
Rich Boothroyd, Orangeville
When I got to the end of the third paragraph of the short story, I had to stop reading the rest of the story, and the rest of the magazine. I was taken aback by the reference to a “papist.”
I am a tradesman, construction-type worker who is not easily offended. FYI, this magazine will now have a direct line from mailbox to blue box.
M. Sangregorio, Orangeville
Jayne Self responds:
I apologize for any offence my words caused. I believe we have come a long way since the bitter Old World feuds that once divided Canadian Christians along Protestant and Roman Catholic lines and it was certainly not my intention to inflame old wounds. In 1881, when the occupants of Bethel Cemetery were moved from the graveyard on Broadway to Forest Lawn, Orangeville was an enclave of Irish Protestantism. Orange Lawrence, the town’s founding father, was named Orange because of his parents’ staunch views. The only Roman Catholic Church in the area, which was built outside of town limits, had mysteriously burned. It was in this historical time, among these people, that “The Grave Robber” is set and the story was never intended to reflect current values.
Online In The Hills
We welcome your comments! For more commentary from our readers, or to add your own thoughts on any of the stories, please add a comment at the bottom of any article. You can also send your letters by e-mail to [email protected] or use our handy submission form. Please include your name, address and contact information. In the Hills reserves the right to edit letters for publication.