Publisher’s Statement – Sept. 30, 2021
The Uxbridge Cosmos prides itself on providing a robust, engaging Letters to the Editor section for readers, offering a platform for township residents to express views and/or respond to items in the newspaper. As our masthead states below, opinions expressed in the Letters section are not necessarily those of the Cosmos. The editorial team may or may not agree with a letter, but staunchly believes that everyone has a point of view, and that that point of view deserves to be heard.
What the Cosmos does not condone or support is the spread of misinformation. Our editors do their best to fact-check and verify information when possible, but this is not always possible, particularly when it comes to COVID-19. They are editors, not scientists. This has led the Cosmos to decide that it will NO LONGER PUBLISH any Letters to the Editor that concern any aspect of COVID-19. This includes, but is not limited to, opinions on the validity, existence or seriousness of the virus, opinions on vaccinations/vaccine passports, and opinions on the actions taken by any level of government with regards to public health.
The Cosmos will continue to relay information that it receives from public health providers and various governments, as is in the general public’s interest. It will not, however, have its journalistic integrity compromised by reader submissions whose opinions may or may not be contradictory to that information which is deemed to be in the public’s interest.
Thank you for continuing to trust the Uxbridge Cosmos for your local news and information. Stay well, stay healthy, and be kind to one another.
Lisha Van Nieuwenhove, Publisher, The Uxbridge Cosmos
Re: ‘Am I Wrong?’ Nov. 18 edition
Well, Roger, your sulk over a smoking ban at your residence, and your reprehensibly careless solution, have set a new standard for being WRONG. While I frequently share your insightful views, this issue separates us. I will do my best to fulfil your prediction of ZERO sympathy. We are not on the same page, or even the same book. I hope you were being deliberately provocative, but if you really believe what you wrote, then I am very disappointed in you.
It’s not that I object to you smoking. So long as you never cause a fire, and your smoke never invades my space, or that of others, you are at perfect liberty to risk a shorter life. In fact, the reduced lifespan of smokers probably assists global well being. Departed smokers don’t drive, cruise, fly, create garbage, or consume resources. This perhaps compensates Planet Earth for the smoke and butt pollution they create. So carry on, brave heart, the planet needs your smoky self-sacrifice. I will, however, should those 65 years of puffing eventually catch up with you, miss your smoking-hot prose in the Cosmos.
What is not at all acceptable, is downright damnable in fact, is the entirely selfish, unrepentant, and misguided use of your vehicle as a heated smoking den, its toxic exhaust spewing into the Uxbridge air as you mindlessly indulge yourself. While I will grant you a right to self-destruction, I do not grant you the right to enjoy yourself at the cost of degrading either the lives of others or the well being of Earth, our common home. If, in 2016, Uxbridge had not rejected a very sensibly proposed anti-idling bylaw, I’d be reporting you as a violator, hoping for both a hefty fine and a severe lecture. As it is, all I can do is deliver the lecture.
You have joined the ranks of the climate careless: those who use remote starters to idle cars at length, just to avoid the brief chill before heater heaven kicks in; those who prefer pumping out exhaust in drive-thru lineups, rather than going inside; those who sit in vehicles, engines running, awaiting pickup or delivery. We must all surrender such small conveniences in order to control our warming world.
Roger, it is not overly dramatic to say that YOU are responsible for heat and flood disasters in B.C., for tornadoes in Barrie, for forest fires in Ontario and the West. Sure, your part in this is small, but that’s the way climate change works – each of us disregarding small acts of negligence, unaware, or even uncaring that it all adds up.
There is no more room for your outraged rights, for your immature sulk at having your smoky toys taken away. Remarks such as those made in your column are fuel for fires of rebellion in the young, fuel for ignorant climate change deniers, and fuel for the dangerous ideas of climate conspiracy theorists. Stop sulking like a child sent to his room, or in your case, his car. Stop whining about your supposed ill-treatment as if it were somehow more severe than the censure we accord to drinking and driving – totally untrue, and also irrelevant. Don’t dishonour our veterans by dragging them, again irrelevantly, into your personal rant. Accept your responsibility to help solve a severe global problem.
John Tomlinson, Uxbridge
At a recent (virtual) public meeting, the Downtown Revitalization Committee presented its draft vision for the shape of Uxbridge in the future. Overall, the committee is doing valuable work in proposing a long-term vision for the direction of our downtown as it evolves.
There is one aspect where the vision fails to respond to the expressed wishes of the community. There is almost universal agreement that a town square is needed as a focal feature of the downtown. The need for a town square has featured prominently in the official plans endorsed by council over the past dozen years. It was high on the wish list of the last Downtown Revitalization Committee a decade ago. The need for a town square was strongly voiced by the community in the surveys and interviews conducted by the current Revitalization Committee, where it ranked second in importance (first was “more places to live”) out of 10 or so factors.
Despite this overwhelming support for a town square, the most recently presented plans displayed what can only be viewed as a token town square – little more than a widened corridor in the area where the abandoned Coffee Time sits on Brock St. It falls far short of the common vision of a town square – a significant space in the centre of town that gives character to the community and offers a space large enough to accommodate numerous events, markets, fairs, performances, etc.
One has only to look at small towns in Europe to understand the importance of the town square. The presentation last week suggested that a redesigned Centennial Park could serve part of the “town square” requirement. A redesigned Centennial Park could serve a number of functions – but not part of a town square function as long as
it is cut off from downtown by a wall of buildings.
The Downtown Revitalization Committee has the proposed town square in the right area, but not nearly large enough. To make an impact, the town square needs to take over the entire space occupied by Coffee Time and the Circle K convenience store.
The committee may not be entirely responsible for its “token town square” proposal. If they were given a mandate to, for instance, balance economic development with open space and affordable housing, this is exactly what a professional planner might come up with. The fact remains, however, that the future of Uxbridge lies not with professional planners, but with our elected politicians, who must eventually approve any draft plans.
So the decision that will face our council is clear. There is an open space, in the perfect location, that provides a unique opportunity that will never present itself again. The Township already owns the lands and the buildings. They can either sell most of it to a developer, who will build more stores along Brock St. Or they can take a visionary approach and create a true town square that will define the character of Uxbridge for generations to come. The “default” plan of selling the land for development might produce short-term financial gain, but it would be a short-sighted move that would squander the possibility of ever achieving the declared vision for our downtown.
It should be an easy decision. There is no immediate expenditure necessary; the work can be scheduled when financial conditions are right. And it would be a popular decision, fulfilling a long-standing vision and, more important, fulfilling the expressed wishes of the community. All that’s needed is a binding commitment to dedicate that space for the town square. It would be a lasting and positive legacy for those involved in the decision.
If that vision is not realized now, it will never be. And this golden opportunity will be missed.
Wynn Walters, Uxbridge