Letters – Our Readers Write: Winter 2023
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Can Caledon Go It Alone?
The article “Can Caledon Go It Alone … and Still Be Caledon?” [autumn ’23] should be required reading for all Caledon residents. The merging of the needed history and today’s news is very well done. Writer Nicola Ross did a great job. I hope she keeps updating this work as the story continues and the politics potentially change – and as targets change, since few people will agree that $1.3-million homes are affordable to most new home buyers or pensioners.
– Timothy J Donovan, Caledon East
Please forward my appreciation to writer Nicola Ross for her excellent, detailed and timely article on the breakup of Peel Region. To me this breakup is not unlike a divorce when the children (residents) pay the price (increased taxes), and the only persons who benefit are the lawyers (consultants) who reap significant financial rewards.
This breakup to me is all based on 3Ps. They are power, politics and personality. Mayor McCallion was a scrapper. She best served her constituents by fighting for them in all the venues of regional, provincial and federal governments. I can recall that in 1979, when the Mississauga train derailment occurred, Mayor McCallion took charge. She essentially said to other layers of government, you are in my sandbox now, so take a seat and watch me lead. The residents of Mississauga appreciated her decisive style of leadership.
Peel Region dates back to 1974 and recently it was suggested by a colleague of mine that Peel Region may have been better served by the province if they had made it the City of Peel. Even now with Bill 112, I have heard rumours that certain functions (like public works) will be preserved in a regional manner.
I hope the Hazel McCallion Act does not become a poor legacy of the mayor and an expensive exercise where the residents of Peel pay huge tax increases and receive few benefits. It appears to me that the failure of Bill 112 could be the duplication associated with it and an expensive division of assets.
– Dave Dorman, Erin
I wish that instead of breaking up, the three municipalities would amalgamate under a single-tier Region of Peel. Then they could all share in the intended development for the whole area. Mississauga and Brampton could finance their infill and repairs, and Caledon could continue the tri-nodal development it had planned. In this way, financing would be shared on a priority basis that the region would decide. One big happy region – but I’m dreaming!
– Rita Baldassarra, Orangeville
In response to “Animal Rights in the Laundry Room” by Dan Needles [summer ’22]: Although this piece was written over a year ago, it hasn’t left my mind. Because I don’t like to have any regrets in terms of wishing I had done something, I’m finally responding to it to offer another perspective.
Rather than think it was a silly or ignorant question, I applaud the customer who asked the salesperson whether or not the sheep had a good life after the wool was taken. Her question could have been worded differently and more accurately, but I understood the gist and the essence of it. She was trying to be an informed consumer in order to make a choice that aligned with her values.
This is something many more people need to do. We need to question where our products come from and what suffering, harm or exploitation (whether endured by the environment, humans or animals) happened along the way.
I’m going to assume that she, like many of us, has become wise to the marketing ploys of huge farming industries that literally paint pictures on their packaging of their animals and workers living idyllic lives. This marketing is supposed to make the consumer feel good about what they’re buying. Since there is no real transparency offered from these industries, we need to ask questions.
I’m glad that Mr. Needles takes care of his sheep, but he does not represent the entire wool industry. I can bet there are sheep farms in which profit overrides humane treatment of the animals during the shearing process. This would especially be the case in which shearers are paid by the volume and not by the hour. I can also bet that any type of legislation or industry policy to protect these vulnerable beings is limited and not effectively enforced.
Mr. Needles states that because of our modern-day “spare time” and “well-fed” bellies, we “now have the energy to bully anyone who doesn’t agree with us.”
First, I’d like to point out that vegetarianism and veganism go back thousands of years; therefore, it’s not some sort of new, modern-day luxury.
I’d also argue that today, more than ever, we have more access to learn about different beliefs and ways of living. This allows us to start questioning our own indoctrination and what has been force-fed to us. I think that is a beautiful thing.
As for bullies? Well, who has the real power here? I’d say it’s the animal-exploiting industries that have powerful lobbying organizations that can shape policy and legislation in their favour and can squash any whistleblower who crosses their path. I wouldn’t say it’s the animal rights activist protesting from a true place of urgency, passion and pain. They are not the real bullies here. They are just trying desperately to stop the wool from being pulled over our eyes.
– Laura V. Miranda, Adjala
Thanks to former paratrooper Jim McDonald of Shelburne who pointed out an error in “We Will Remember Them” [autumn ’23]. The story made reference to the playing of taps. In fact, taps is an American bugle call. The British and Canadian military play the last post, which has a different melody.
The Ford government’s dissolution of Peel and incursion into the Greenbelt pose existential threats to Caledon as we know it.