To the Editor,
You don't understand basic math... 'Growth' is possible only if it is nourished properly when needed, otherwise it creates stagnation and death. No more is growth here is needed. There has to be a limit. There has to be 'stability'. Who stands up for Stability in Port Perry? On the one hand, you talk about the dreadful effects of 'development' in former towns all around, while on the other licking your chops over 'development' here yet to come. Once you commit to a bedroom economy, you lose local control. Port Perry will be just like Brooklin or Stouffvile, a hideous car based place of strangers.
The delay over the sewage ponds has been a godsend... that we have wasted by not airing the basic issues. Imagining the next 400 years. Imagining the next 40 years. Imagining how to buy back our own town. Climate change will have tipped the scale in only 15 years, and we can't imagine what trying to live here will be like.
We are still thinking like it is 1980. There is no monitoring equipment in the Township adequate to measuring what we are doing to the environment even now, on land or in the waterways. Parts per million.
Assume we can continue to get away with cheap gasoline and Nuclear electricity from a facility already due for demolition. And you get to spread your word that no one else has a chance to counter. Horse blinders.
Can't see the periphery for fear it distracts the poor old horse. Someone else is controlling the reins. Not us who like the small town feel of it all. Horsebuns and all.
Apple has started to fight the FBI, refusing to create a backdoor into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernadino shooters.
In a world where spy agencies such as the NSA have been found to have been tracking many people’s online actions, people should breathe a sigh of relief that Apple does in fact have a moral centre and are protecting their customers against
The company has said that this case would cause a “dangerous precedent that threatens people’s civil liberties” and that is potentially true. This case could open the company up to future smaller cases where government organizations could access private information
No greater sign that this is a good fight for Apple to wage than the fact that both Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg came out and pledged their support for Apple’s actions.
Many people likely own some sort of Apple product and know that there is some content, be it pictures, fun conversations that they would not like to see the light of day.
The battle for our privacy will be fought in the courtroom, but at theend at the very least people can say that Apple is trying.
Letter to the Editor
Operation Scugog Food Bank was graciously supported by the community and beyond for the 2015 Christmas campaign. Over 200 families, singles and couples were supported this past Christmas.
A huge Thank You to all those who adopted families at Christmas and those who donated food, gifts, money and their time to help with our hamper program. We couldn’t do it without you.
Drop off locations for food and toys were supported by BMO, Canadian Tire, CIBC, Foodland, Gus Brown, McDonald’s, PP Print, RBC, Scotiabank, Scugog Visitor & Business Centre, Shoppers Drug Mart, The Standard News, Vos Independent and Walmart.
Thank you to Vos Independent for having their “Toonie at the Till”, Herrington’s for having a donation box with the money going towards our ground beef orders, Gus Brown for the use of the Toy van, Flielers Ultramar for filling up the tank and Designs by Deb for doing the detailing.
Canadian Tire along with Sandy O’Hare and her Facebook friends managed to collect and donate 90 hoodies and t-shirts which were distributed on our hamper day.
Thank you to Anchor Storage for storing the toys and gifts until the big day, Victory Christian Centre for the use of their facilities and support and to the Port Perry Baptist Church cooking class for putting on a hot lunch for our volunteers.
Our hamper day was mild and wet with lots of Christmas cheer thanks to all our wonderful volunteers.
Once again, Operation Scugog would like to say Thank You to all those who helped make someone’s Christmas a little brighter.
Karen Teed, Operation Scugog Christmas Campaign Committee
Since we rolled into 2016, the changes coming to our community are starting to loom ever closer. When the sewage treatment facility gets up and running to the north of Port Perry, the doors will be open to the builders that have been patiently waiting, clutching their plans of development, to get moving and get the proverbial shovel in the ground. Depending on whom you listen to, there could be as many as 350 new builds in the Port Perry area. Now, some of these have been on the board for some time. The north end by the curling rink for example. So they will proceed and get their area finished off, allowing more new people to experience this fine community first hand.
The major concern going forward is will there be more affordable housing in the plans? First time buyers these days have a tough road.
We truly feel sorry for young couples starting out these days. The gap between wages earned and the cost of living has widened incredibly and nowhere more than housing. Just ask someone that bought a house 30 years ago. You will be astounded at what they paid. And the prices around Port have jumped drastically in the last 8 years.
The other big consideration is the density issue and just how much growth will happen. One need look no further than Brooklin or Whitby to get the drift there. Whitby has grown 63 per cent since 1999. Need proof? Just take a drive down that way and have a look at all the building going on. Some areas can’t be recognized anymore. Brooklin even more so.
What Port has is what most towns dearly aspire to. A downtown that is clearly a downtown. That's still the heart and soul of any community. It's where the pulse comes from. What we don't want is to become yet another bedroom community to feed the monster that is Toronto.
Growth is important. To not grow is another form of dying. But that growth needs to be controlled and regulated. Here's hoping our Mayor and councillors recognize that and keep a steady and firm finger on the pulse. We're going to need it.
A recent report by the Netherlands non-profit group Pax and the Washington-based Syria Institute, stated that more than one million Syrians are trapped in besieged areas. This is just further proof that our country, and specifically North Durham needs to embrace incoming Syrian refugees.
The civil war in Syria is already being labeled by some as the “worst humanitarian crisis of the 2000’s” displacing more than 11 million people. Casualties from the war range anywhere from 150,000 to 360,000. So far, all signs point to this civil war not ending any time soon.
For those currently still residing in Syria, their electricity and running water is currently being cut off by their government, and they have a very limited access to food and medical care according to the report.
Canada has always been involved in crises such as this, including admitting more than 7,000 Ugandan Asians in 1972 when their government threatened to expell them, as well as taking in over 5,000 Kosovars in 1999. To stop all of a sudden would be foolish.
Canada once let fear get the better of them during World War II with Japanese Canadians, a mistake that we do not want to repeat.
North Durham has always seemed like a united community. One of the definitions of community is a feeling of fellowship with others, which is something that we need to show the refugees that are coming in.
At the end of the day, these refugees are human beings, like the rest of us, and all human beings deserve a chance to live free of threats of war, and they deserve a chance to become our friends, neighbours and co-workers.
At a time that the people from Syria need us most, we must present ourselves as welcoming and not let Xenophobia, the fear of outsiders, destroy what could end up being a great relationship with these refugees. constant danger.
Letter to the Editor
Durham Regional Council is in the throes of deciding its own future. A special review committee, consisting mainly of sitting councillors, is looking at the council’s size, composition and the way our regional councillors are elected. They are expected to provide their recommendations this month.
Currently, 28 Councillors plus the Chair represent 600,000-plus residents, and they cost us taxpayers well over $2.5 million annually in compensation. Peel Region, with more than twice the population, has four fewer councillors. Some municipalities within Durham are over represented, whilst others are under-represented on council, based on population. (Oshawa, population 150,000, has 8 representatives; Ajax, population 110,000, has just 3.).
Re-balancing is needed, but reduction in overall size is also justified. Three municipalities within Durham Region had a referendum (during the 2014 election) on whether to downsize Regional Council and the result was overwhelmingly in favour of a reduction. The electors in the other five municipalities were denied their say at the ballot box.
Lots of time, study and effort have gone into preparing the practical, legal and philosophical arguments for restructuring council, and whether we should elect councillors directly (rather than the current, double-direct system, where your one vote puts one person on both local and regional councils, for two pay cheques).
The Regional Council Composition Review hasn’t exactly been shouted from the rooftops.
Public information sessions, announced just before Christmas, took place January 18, 19 and 20, and the deadline for public input was extended to January 27. Not many of us made it out to a meeting, and the sitting councillors (many of whom did attend) seemed all to keen to protect their jobs. A cynical person might think very little will come of all this.
The background is available on the Region’s website (durham.ca). You can still speak to your Regional Councillor, write to the review committee at email@example.com, or contact your local council, MPP or the provincial Ministry for Municipal Affairs and Housing. We should have a fair chance to voice our opinion on how we are governed, and we deserve effective representation.
Ray and Sharon Smith, Port Perry
People across Canada once again embraced Bell Lets Talk Day this past Thursday, Jan. 28.
This year’s awareness day was proof that our society’s awareness of issues surrounding mental health is growing, with the initiative reaching a new fundraising record of approximately $6.3 million and having over 125 million calls, texts, tweets and shares.
Last year, the awareness day had a record 122 million messages and donated about $6 million to mental health initiatives.
Awareness campaigns such as these have created an environment where it is now more socially acceptable to talk about what you are going through. Celebrities such as TSN’s Michael Landsberg, Canadian Speedskater Clara Hughes, as well as Comedian Jim Carrey are among the many who have been able to tell their stories about their battles with mental health. This proves that despite it being a continuing issue across the world, the stigma behind mental health is starting to be reduced as people become more comfortable with talking about what they are facing.
Closer to home, there are many mental health initiatives across North Durham and the Kawarthas such as Community Care’s COPE Mental Health program and numerous organizations providing information to help those who are struggling, to cope such as the Canadian Mental Health Association of Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Fighting the Truth and Lakeridge Health. Information is now readily available to educate those who are misinformed, or in the past believed that it was a show of personal weakness rather than a disease.
Mental Health will always be a big issue in this country, but at least our awareness of what depression and mental health is, is increasing, as more information becomes available to everyone and the culture of acceptance is slowly changing.