Letters to the editor

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Fix parking garage stairs

The city must fix the stairs near the public thoroughfare at the downtown parking garage. Because of the stairs’ closure, people are forced to take an elevator ride or else walk a significant distance around the building. Lately, the number of intravenous drug-abusers loitering in the elevator lobby and the elevator itself is insane. I recently took the elevator and there were two young men inside crouched down in a urine puddle. They assured me the urine wasn’t from them. They just were hanging out in a urine-soaked-elevator. I’d almost preferred it was their urine as that would make more sense than crouching in a puddle of someone else’s urine. The last municipal worker I spoke to said they originally expected stair repairs to be completed by Sept. 30. Well, it’s almost November and there is zero work being done. It seems as if this will only get worse as winter approaches.


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Jeff Goodfellow

Danger of electric vehicle subsidies

Re: Benefits of electric vehicle subsidies unproven (Oct. 13)

Lorrie Goldstein’s column provided a valuable insight into the validity of the federal government’s electric-vehicle subsidy program in terms of cost per tonne of carbon emissions reduction.

The conclusion is it’s a very expensive and relatively ineffective way of mitigating climate change.

In Ontario, there’s marked reluctance on the part of the Ford government to embrace electric vehicles. Their cancellation of the Wynne-era purchase subsidies and removal from the residential building code of a “rough-in” for home vehicle charging are indicative.

The provincial subsidy promised to the Ford Motor Co. in Oakville to transition to electric-vehicle production is probably more about protecting good-paying jobs than unbridled enthusiasm for the resulting zero-emission products.

What the province may be anticipating is an accelerated fall in gas tax revenues as electric vehicles proliferate. Gas taxes are used to build and maintain highways and contribute to the capital and operating cost of public transit. It’s worth noting hydro prices in Ontario are taxpayer subsidized, so increased use for vehicle charging will be a further drain on provincial coffers.

The possible solutions to these issues are politically challenging at a time when the province’s debt and deficits are at all-time highs and many families have seen a drop in income due to the pandemic. Each one involves price and tax increases, a reduction in government spending in other critical areas or – perish the thought – a broad application of road tolls.


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It will be interesting to see how the provincial government handles this looming reality. The Ford government’s “Made in Ontario Environmental Plan” and spending on new highway projects may now need a serious rethink.

Ken Westcar
Woodstock, Ont.

Rural internet woes

With this second wave of COVID-19, schools may close and parents will not be able to afford rural Internet charges, due also to the fact they may not be working. Should the government decide to provide the money for school kids’ connectivity, remember, that will come out of your pocket, too.

Think about the reason rural residents live so far apart. Cows, pigs, chickens, vegetables need hectares of land.

Farmers provide food, but can’t get unlimited Internet access because rural service is not profitable.

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving dinner.

Kathy Crawford,
Dutton, Ont.

Driving test worries

And also, why has the Ministry of Transportation suspended the group education session for seniors older than 80? I took the test when I turned 80, but when I turned 82 in February it was cancelled due to the pandemic. Now, I cannot renew my driver’s licence, but I’m still allowed to drive until I can take the test.

Why are all the seniors who were due to take the test (and might have failed it) still allowed to drive?

There was a waiting list before, so now there will be a huge backlog when the test is available again.

I think the people who come up with these weird ideas need to take some kind of an IQ test.

F. Jorgensen,
Mount Brydges, Ont.

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