Re: Ryerson, Letters, June 24 edition
I read with some interest the letter from Dr. Kaitlyn Watson (Cosmos, June 24). My distillation of the ideas expressed is that anyone (in this case Ryerson) should be condemned forever and removed from history due to their involvement in initiatives that had adverse consequences. Good intensions are peripheral and should be ignored. The condemnations should not be limited to individuals but applied to entire societies.
In 1789, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, one of the great thinkers in the Age of Enlightenment, inspired the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen,” a defining document of Western democracy. The Declaration was one of the sparks that ignited the French Revolution, which peaked with the execution by guillotine and other means of some 40,000 people, most of whom were innocent of any wrongdoing. Using Dr. Watson’s logic, Rousseau and the entire French state should forever be condemned as murderers and Rousseau’s works stricken from history. I doubt that we would be a wiser or more enlightened society as a result.
In 1601, the British Parliament enacted the “Relief Poor Act” which took tax revenues and used them to assist and feed poor, disabled and aged individuals and families. The Act performed adequately, saving thousands from starvation until the early 19th Century. The end of the Napoleonic War and the widespread introduction of mechanization on farms resulted in a tidal wave of homeless, unemployed soldiers, sailors and farm workers who overwhelmed the system. In order to handle the influx and improve efficiency, the now-infamous workhouses were established. Viewed through a backwards-looking lens with modern sensibilities this was a badly flawed solution to say the least. However, workhouses were not founded on cruelty, racism (or any other –ism) but by the standards of the day they were seen as a humanitarian way of coping with a serious crisis. Charles Dickens and others highlighted numerous problems in the system but their primary goals were awareness and improvement not a broad condemnation of society as a whole.
It seems to me that the lessons of history should be used constructively as a moral compass to help guide society to a better future rather than as a political weapon to be used in the present.
Mike Stones, Uxbridge
Re: Disappointed in Rogers, Letters, June 24 edition
Carol, I feel your pain. I am experiencing the same disappointment with the imposed switch from Compton to Rogers Ignite. As I am unable to receive Bell Satellite due to line of sight issues, I, too, made the switch Dec., 2020.
My bill is higher, channels less, no more TCM (not a flex channel), even though I was told by Compton my bundle and fees would remain the same.
Having all devices now reliant on Uxbridge’s unreliable WiFi connections, the degree of frustration runs high.
Apparently my WiFi connection cannot pass through a wall, so I am paying for two modems where only one works. Rogers’ solution is to disconnect then reconnect the modem. That has become a daily ritual multiple times a day now. At least I don’t have to wait the hour long on hold call to them.
On a recent call to Rogers, I explained I wanted to go with a lower cost bundle as I only watch six of the channels I am paying $100+ for, which are continually disrupted by connection problems. They informed me I already had the lowest priced bundle, plus I was getting a monthly $40 discount, which will be added to my bill come Dec. 2021!
It seems Rogers Ignite is making promises they cannot keep and leaving customers hanging in the wind. Please, Uxbridge council, find a way to ensure that residents are not being ripped off for Wi-Fi and television services in town.
Theresa Pilniuk, Uxbridge
Re: Getting silly, ‘Am I wrong?’, June 24 edition
Yet more insults! I won’t list all the previous insults that have been dumped on First Nations peoples over the centuries, it is too shaming, but now ‘being silly’ has been added by a recent column by Roger Varley.
Perhaps he should consider the renaming of Prince Charles Secondary School in Kootenay district, B.C. from the other end? What possible relevance can it have for the Indigenous people of that area, whose story has been defined by dispossession and land removal, to have a school named after a man whose very existence is defined by possession of massive wealth and land bestowal.
Prince Charles’s property inheritances in the UK make up about 0.22 per cent of the total land mass of the country – an outrageously unequal distribution of resources, and framing him as an old, British, white guy is rather missing the point of him. The point of Prince Charles is to be a living embodiment of an aristocracy that believes some should have inherited wealth and land and others should not. We might all have an ‘interest in farming and architecture’ if we had received from birth massive amounts of both categories.
Cultural genocide is not just removing an existing culture, but forcibly imposing another in its place. Renaming the school Creston Valley Secondary School makes perfect sense when looked at from that point of view.
Fly Freeman, Uxbridge
Re: Gardens of Uxbridge Tour a success
Our 25th Anniversary Gardens of Uxbridge Tour was an outstanding success!
Kudos to the eight generous homeowners who made sure their fabulous gardens were looking their very best, and opened them to the public for the day. They all had the reward of listening to the compliments and glowing comments.
We were glad to welcome Native Plants of Claremont to be part of the tour. Many visitors enjoyed that part of their visit.
Many thanks to over 70 volunteers who cheerfully followed the COVID-19 protocol: restricting numbers in gardens, encouraging sanitizing, and greeting and directing people through the gardens.
And we are especially grateful to whoever was in charge of the weather in Uxbridge on July 10, 2021. It couldn’t have been better!
For The Lucy Maud Montgomery Society Garden Tour Committee, Barb Pratt
Re: UMST Rising Stars 2021
On June 28, the Uxbridge Music Scholarship Trust (UMST) launched its first virtual video concert. These have been trying times, and although it took a year to come to terms with the effects social distancing has on musical interaction, not performing was not an option. Music is, as MC Ted Barris eloquently pointed out, a fundamental form of human expression. It is a basic need and extremely important to human development, and giving our young people a safe place to spread their performance wings is one of the UMST mandates.
Kudos to the team, as it was a success, according to the Douglas Crossing viewing event on Monday evening. The applause was spontaneous and grateful, just as at a live concert.
Thank you very much for the donations from the Douglas Crossing residents.
The video is now public and available on YouTube until September 30 at youtu.be/Ebv1OqTRHFI
If you are inclined to make a donation, please visit uxbridgemusicscholarshiptrust.com
The UMST thanks the performers who worked hard to prepare concert-ready material.
The UMST also thanks the Optimist Club of Uxbridge, which contributed a substantial sum. The UMST is grateful for all the contributions from the many service clubs and corporations that have supported it throughout its 23 years.
Kathy Normandeau, UMST Chair