Opinion

Letters to the editor

Our readers write about volunteers, St. Catharines' infrastructure deficit and Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes.

Heritage gets short shrift on heritage committee

Thank you, Colin Kenny, for this excellent observation. I cut this article out of the paper the night it appeared and now, on re-reading it, feel it requires a reply. Mr. Kenny points out that Minister of Canadian Heritage Melanie Joly has snubbed thousands of community leaders and volunteers in favour of a program that honours a handful of celebrities and elites for Canada’s 150th year which, as he says, “creates a glitz and glamour show-biz approach.”

We have thousands of grassroots volunteers who work hard for a cause they believe in — not looking for praise, but support from their local and federal governments. In Ontario, they are recognized for the number of years they have worked and line up once every five years to receive a certificate from local ministry representatives.  

I remember one year, a local politician got up to speak and talked about the vast amounts of money the volunteers were saving the government. That finished me — I never went back to receive another certificate, even for the 30 years I willingly committed.

Joly is conducting a review of Canada’s strategy for culture. She has rounded up 12 “experts” as a cultural policy advisory group and they are reviewing this subject, for which they receive $25,000 each in expenses. And not one of them has anything to do with “heritage” or is even remotely connected to it.  

Our committee does not even have a yearly budget of $25,000 but we have commitment, passion and determination. A cultural strategy is also being conducted for Ontario and again, heritage has been ignored on the appointments to the strategy committee.

Without our committed volunteers at the grassroots, many of the government’s programs would fall apart.

Pamela J.Minns

Thorold

Time to address infrastructure deficit

St. Catharines has an infrastructure crisis. With an infrastructure deficit of $140 million and spiralling, combined with yearly investments that fall $14 million short of simply sustaining our assets, it won’t be long before our roads and sewers reach a critical state. 

Last year city council approved a one per cent infrastructure levy, which is the responsible thing to do, as previous administrations have kicked the can down the road on this issue. However this additional revenue nowhere near closes the revenue shortfall. It is time for council to start prioritizing to meet this need so future generations won’t be saddled with paying for our negligence.

Jim Finley

St. Catharines

Enough with the politics

Meryl Streep was deceitful and calculating when she used the Golden Globes as a forum to express her own political ideology. I am tired of politics. I didn’t turn on the awards show to listen to her.

John Shmuir

Brantford