Opinion Letters

Forest tracts targeted for development: LETTERS

County targets forest tracts for development


(Re: ‘Another chunk of land added to county forest mosaic’ in the Sept. 21 edition of the Examiner)

I read with dismay that the Kirkup family, who donated 104 acres of their ancestral property to the County of Simcoe, “is very happy to know that this forest will be protected for generations to come.”

The county targets its forests tracts for industrial development.

On one tract, near Orr Lake, the county built sand domes. Heavy trucks bring sand into and out of the forest tract.

The county has applied to build a large garbage depot on 15 acres of the Freele Tract on Horseshoe Valley Road. Hundreds of garbage trucks will be in and out of this forest. The county targeted many of its other forest tracts before choosing this one.

Even though Bradford Mayor Rob Keffer said, “the Kirkup forest will continue to be enjoyed by the residents of Bradford West Gwillimbury,” it could be developed as an industrial site.

Now that you know the facts, Kirkup family members, do you want your land back?

Frank Gerrits

Springwater Township

Birdman photo makes reader’s day

(Re: ‘Barrie’s Birdman’ in the Sept. 21 edition of the Examiner)

What a wonderful photo of man and wildlife, taken by the Examiner’s Mark Wanzel.

So much love on both sides.

Thank you for taking that photo. It really made my day.

This world needs more people like Birdman.

I hope the citizens of Barrie will give him the love and respect he deserves.

Shirley Craig


Gender-neutral anthem stalled

The bill to change the national anthem wording is still being stalled by Conservative senators who refuse to change “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command.”


How many of these Conservative senators promoting the exclusion of the majority of our population are male and how many are female?

Jacqueline Stalker


Teens, young adults to feel the brunt

(Re: ‘Opposition without solid solution disappointing’ column in the Sept. 14 edition of the Examiner)

I don’t think anyone disagrees with raising the minimum wage, especially at the rate of inflation.

Obviously, employers can’t pay their workers in 2017 the same wage they were paid in 1987.  

The major problem is that wages will go up 32% within about 14 months; a shockingly high increase in such a short period. 

How many people out there have gotten anywhere near that kind of a raise in a similar period? Even the public-sector unions don’t have the chutzpah to ask for such an increase and we all know the outrageous demands they sometimes make.

Minimum-wage jobs are mainly unskilled, entry-level jobs. Besides the fact that most long-term employees will eventually rise up through the pay scale with their employer, most minimum workers are either students or recent graduates, seniors supplementing their retirement income or those who are supplementing their partner’s higher salary.

Speaking of rising up through the pay scales, there is no doubt that those workers currently at or near the $15 wage will expect a corresponding increase in their wages, too. And deservedly so. 

How could an employer defend paying an employee minimum wage when prior to January 2019, they were significantly above minimum wage? Even those who have busted their butts getting up to the $20 mark will likely feel cheated.  

Premier Kathleen Wynne is completely tone deaf to the damage this unnecessarily rapid increase will do to the economy and employment levels. Her government continues to insist that the minimum-wage increase will result in 15,000 new jobs. 

However, the non-partisan Financial Accountability Office of Ontario, the provincial budget watchdog, released its report on Sept. 12 showing that there will be a loss of at least 50,000 jobs. The ones who will feel the brunt of this disaster-in-waiting will be Ontario teens and young adults, while failing to address the real issues of poverty.  

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce released its own report, stating that 185,000 jobs could be at risk.

If there is any justice, Wynne and her fellow Liberals will be turfed from office next year for even proposing this increase, on top of all the other damage her government has done to this province.  

Sadly, even if Wynne were to machine-gun puppies on the lawn of Queen’s Park every day until the next election, I’m not thoroughly convinced she will lose. She’s a wiley campaigner and the Progressive Conservatives do have a knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.  

We can only hope that the thousands of workers who suddenly find themselves unemployed due to this reckless decision will use the extra time they have on their hands to get down to their nearest polling station and vote her government out of office. 

We’ll see.

Bruce Forsyth