| Jan 19, 2006


Letters to the Editor - January 19, 2006

Letters to the Editor

January 19, 2006

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Letters to the Editor

Mayors' FiveYears

I have just been reading the article informing us who is considering running again for the mayoralties in this area.

I note that Mr. Bill Lake has opted to do so in South Frontenac Township and I was particularly interested in his remark regarding the much publicized and controversial water system being installed in Sydenham. He is apparently of the opinion that in five years everyone will be congratulating him for the role he played in this affair, contrary to the opposite opinion currently held by 92% of the population. I can only speak for myself, of course, but like many other residents, my husband and I are seniors and at 81 years, projecting ahead for five years is problematical, to say the least. Our concern is mainly in the present and largely consists of trying to gather together upwards of $20,000 to pay for water that we neither need nor want. It would be better spent on such as our grandchild’s future education, means of transportation, house repairs, and creature comforts.

The last three years have been a disillusioning and worrisome period of time for us and our faith in the democratic process at all levels of government has diminished considerably. It is now obvious that the will of the people is no longer adhered to, at least under this council, and goes to prove that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

- Rosalie KnightsDemocractic Deficit

Letters

As this federal election speeds to its conclusion, I'd like to document what for me will be the deciding factor in casting my vote. We've been hearing a lot about the "democratic deficit" in Canada, and we've been hearing lots of promises about how to fix it from all the parties. For me the most important point is that our local MP, Scott Reid, has actually been doing something about the democratic deficit and, therefore, I can believe that he will continue to do so.

Mr. Reid has actually conducted constituent referenda on a number of issues. He has actually asked his constituents for their views on subjects such as same sex marriage, and what he should do with his 2001 Government pay raise, and then he has voted in accordance with those views. That's what I call effectively correcting the democratic deficit in this country, and that's why I'll vote for Scott Reid.

- Jo-Anne Knapp

Canadians deservebetter

The Federal Liberal Government has again missed, or avoided, doing the right thing when it came to act on the possible leak of stock market information to private individuals before the general public learned of that information.

It would have been very simple, and very correct, for the Finance Minister, or the Prime Minister, to immediately call for an investigation. But that did not happen. Rather, this government has once again been stonewalling and has thus created the impression that they have something to hide. They have again betrayed Canadians by failing to act in a timely, ethical, and transparent way. More and more this appears to be the modus operandi of this Liberal government, and that is a great sadness for Canadians - we deserve better!

- Mike Monk

The Notwithstanding Clause

Mr. Martin dismayed everyone during the latest English debate with his announcement that he would vote against the Federal Government ever using the Notwithstanding Clause! This issue is one of the strongest rationales yet for getting rid of the Federal Liberals.

The absence of the Notwithstanding Clause would give nine unelected judges (appointed by the prime minister) the final say on parliamentary legislation. That would undermine the supremacy of our democratically elected parliament, by removing an essential "checks and balances" element in our democratic system.

Mr. Martin’s announcement is a classic example of his flip-flopping. It totally contradicts his pronouncement of a year ago, in which he said he would use the Notwithstanding Clause against any court decision that ordered churches to officiate at same-sex marriages.

Depriving Parliament of the protection of the Notwithstanding Clause opens a colossal national constitutional debate which, in all likelihood, would instantly drive Quebec into another referendum – with a very strong case against the Federal Government.

- Simon Spanchak

Tichborne Appreciation

The village of Tichborne came to light on Christmas Eve when the Thompson family and friends placed in excess of 800 luminarias on both sides of the streets throughout Tichborne. What a wonderful sight it was to see the entire village aglow. It was truly a thoughtful way for a group to bring a sign of joy and fellowship to the community. We thank those involved on behalf of those who were privileged to observe the magical sight.

This past year, we have had our village portrayed in the news as a gathering place for drugs, drinking,fighting and acts of malicious damage to property. Having lived (by choice) in Tichbornesince 1954, I feel that we deserve that a more favourable picture be painted ofour town.

At present, through the co-operative efforts of many of our residents, we also have a good ice surface available and being used by many of all ages.

- Dave Hansen

Accountability

I hope that a huge number of Canadians are, like me, really looking forward to voting on January 23 when we can be heard loud and clear about our views on ACCOUNTABILITY in our Federal Government. For years there has been virtually no accountability from the Liberals in Ottawa - not for all their broken promises - not for their seemingly endless scandals - not for the lost or stolen millions of taxpayers’ money - not for their preoccupation with their own damage control which left the country drifting towards international irrelevance - not for breaking trust with Canadians.

Ordinary Canadians, like myself, don’t get many opportunities to express our views (though we do have a local MP, Scott Reid, who actually holds constituent referenda), so let’s make the most of January 23 and vote for change - the kind of change that will see all the corruption, scandal, and lack of accountability pursued until Ottawa has had a thorough house-cleaning.

- Todd Steele

Green Party understands Farmers

This letter is in response to comments made and circulated by Dave Campbell, president of the Lanark County Federation of Agriculture.

I am in complete agreement with him that "the agriculture policies announced in the last month by the two main parties will not save our farmers", but there is a party that will back our farmers.

The Green Party understands that farmers need our support, as they are the very backbone of our communities and our country. Why are suppliers and distributors profiting, while the farmer who produces the food we eat is lucky to break even?

Our current trade ideology says it is better to transport our food over long distances, but as fuel prices rise we will need to rely more on our farming culture. As a society we have to support a viable farming community right here at home. Our long-term interest and priority must include issues of food security and local employment. If Finland can supply 80% of its own food, why is Canada only managing 20%?

Governments should: encourage and support local farmers toward value-added production; continue unregulated production by small and mixed family farms for products sold at local markets; shift government-supported research away from biotechnology and energy-intensive farming and toward organic food production. As well, corporate concentration needs to be challenged, as does international dumping and subsidies to those same mega-corporations. Supply management systems should provide stable domestic markets, viable farm income and easier market access for specialty and organic producers.

- Lynn Daniluk Don't Vote Conservative

I feel sorry for the letter writers who are singing the praises of Stephen Harper and his Conservative party. It's more than a little strange that residents of this particular riding would be impressed by what Mr Harper represents given that the average income here is best described as modest. How easily they are bought. Cold calculating right wing fundamentalist conservatism is what led to the abandonment of thousands of people in the aftermath of the New Orleans flood. In the richest country in the world,foreign reporters reached victims before their own government's agencies did because those agencies were underfunded, ill equipped, and poorly organized. Mike Harris and his Conservative Party did that kind of disastrous "cost cutting" to fund tax breaks for the wealthy here in Ontario. Look no further than Walkerton. Stephen Harper's Conservatives are poised to do much more damage on a national scale. The ongoing gun violence in Toronto is a symptom of an imported culture bred in the USA. The USA has more citizens per capita in prison than any other country in the world and Stephen Harper's solution is to copy that model by increasing the jail time for offenders. Forget about addressing the poverty issues that lead to the breakdown of a society, give another tax break to the rich. . .oh and toss the rest a couple of bucks. They'll be so thrilled with nickels and dimes they won't even pause to consider the greater implications for the country. It worked for Mulroney. The most reviled Prime Minister in Canadian history bought a second term by tossing a few bucks to the senior citizens. Then he brought in the GST and delivered us into servitude to the USA by signing the Free Trade Deal. Harper would have us even more aligned with the Americans. He wanted our military in Iraq. He supports the US Missile Defence Shield and wants to push military spending to $24 Billion per year not for peace keeping but to more closely align us with the US so we can more actively support their 'war on terror', an epidemic that they brought upon themselves through decades of sleazy meddling self serving foreign policy. Let’s see. . decrease taxes for the wealthy by $10 Billion, increase military spending by $7 - $10 Billion per year and balance the budget . . doesn't leave much for those pesky social programmes that define the country. There's more of course. .much more, but I'm talking to voters that are a little short on their attention to detail. Voters who will sell the country for a 1% break on the GST. That's right 1%. The other 1% comes sometime later, like maybe 5 years later. . .or not at all. That 1% translates into $300. if you spend $30,000. on GST taxable items but less affluent taxpayers will be penalized by changes Harper proposes to the basic tax rate so once again only those with significant disposable income will really benefit. You've been bought cheap. If you're going to sell your vote at least get your money's worth. Check out how much the wealthy are going to save with their tax breaks. The wealthy who don't ever need the social services that you may come to depend upon. And seniors. Seniors who have benefited from the largesse of our Social Democracy, shame on you, voting for Harper like your predecessors voted for Mulroney. Stand up for Canada, stand up for yourselves. . . DON'T vote Conservative.- Patrick Maloney

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