Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – Feb. 28, 2024

Got the app?

Dear Editor,
Recently I saw a good deal on a pineapple. I wanted one anyway. It was at our local town grocery store, where I do the majority of my shopping. The fruit in question was $2.50 cheaper for Optimum members, the sign said. Hey, I thought, that’s me.
Alas, when the cashier rang it up and I was about to pay my bill, I noticed that there was no reduced price. I was being charged the regular price. So I asked the very pleasant girl on the cash why I wasn’t getting the Optimum price. She knew the reason and replied that you had to have the app on your phone, to get that advertised price.
That explanation didn’t seem fair to me at all. Why should a customer have to have a smart phone, and a certain app, in order to take advantage of a sale price? She smiled, admitted that she agreed, but explained that it was out of the control of the store. This little “scam” was dictated by Loblaws, their parent store.
When I spoke to the store manager shortly afterward, he politely and apologetically confirmed what the cashier had told me. Grocery stores affiliated with Galen Weston’s mammoth corporation, it seems then, are forced to adhere to the company line, fair or unfair.
I do have a smart phone and later on I checked out the possibility of acquiring this all-important PC app. To get this wonderful app, they wanted my credit card number. I hesitated. Likely they’ve already invaded my privacy and have it regardless. But it’s a matter of principle.
I still don’t have the app. But I bought the pineapple anyway.

William Smith, Bristol

Political rhetoric

Dear Editor,
It was with great disappointment that we saw THE EQUITY
publishing the political rhetoric of an unsuccessful candidate, without first fact-checking the story (Portage community programming lacking, focus group finds, THE EQUITY, Feb. 7, 2024). The fact of the matter is that Nicole Thompson, a twice-defeated political opponent of Mayor Cameron, has, in the past, criticized the municipality without justification and is doing so again.
What can be said is that Nicole’s attendance to the meetings was disruptive and had to be elevated for oversight. The municipal meetings are, by law, open meetings and are attended by the Portage citizens anytime they have a need to question the governance of the municipality. Disruptions are rare and, contrary to the assertions made by Mrs. Thompson, are never resolved through the rumour mill and political headquarters of Mrs. Thompson, being the corner liquor store.
We welcome everyone to attend the council meetings in a respectful way, but firmly reject those who would turn the council meeting into a political romp.
The office hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
As for our accessibility, we have unlimited voicemail storage and the box is never full, so please feel free to call and leave a message, noting our hours of operation.

Lisa Dagenais,
Director General, Portage du Fort

EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions expressed in the original article were based on the experience of the person quoted and have been corroborated by multiple residents of the municipality.

Death, taxes and garbage

Dear Editor,
There is an expression that two things are certain: death and taxes. I would add a third – garbage!
Humans create waste. At this time, with evidence of climate change around us, solutions for domestic waste are needed. In some parts of Canada municipalities have 50 years left to landfill waste, but in others they have four to six years. Canada currently buries 97 per cent of its garbage, compared to Sweden with just one per cent that is landfilled.
MRC Pontiac has always opposed landfill. Municipalities manage the collection, recycling, composting and disposal of household waste, while provincial authorities establish waste reduction priorities and programs, as well as approving and monitoring facilities and operations.
In the months ahead we are having discussion with the 18 municipalities hopefully to find a united approach to recycle as much as possible and then to compost the organic matter. I personally think that we need to create door-to-door collection, as maximum participation and compliance comes when collection is as easy and convenient as possible for the resident. The best results will be through excellent communication and education step-by-step. Then, we will actually be able to see the quantities being captured that will no longer need to travel to the Lachute landfill. At that point, the focus becomes what to do with the rest, the last 35-to-40 per cent. Will it continue to be landfilled or could it be transformed to electricity and steam through energy from waste? I look forward to a fulsome discussion on this in the Pontiac.
Zero waste is important to consider. It focuses on rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, regift and recycle. This lifestyle is admirable, but current social and economic structures make it incredibly difficult to commit to. Factors that can hinder the adoption of waste-reducing behaviours include a lack of resources, time and money to make sustainable decisions. It has theoretically been adopted by many municipalities.
Zero waste is being advocated through Friends of the Pontiac and Pontiac Independent. It is a lifestyle requiring daily decisions. There will be an educational meeting next Saturday. At this point, these groups would like to stop all study of energy from waste. Why would we prevent further study of anything? We need as much information as possible to make the best-informed decision. The picture these groups use on a petition and posters is of a building with dark smoke spewing from it. It would not be possible to operate a facility like that in the world today with the environmental oversight that exists and is enforced. The new technology available today makes it possible to provide electricity and steam heating for residential and business development in close proximity.
It is an exciting time in the Pontiac as we work together on the best solution for our waste. We will involve everyone in the public consultation to ensure that our solution will be economical and, most importantly, environmentally safe and healthy.

Jane Toller, Warden MRC Pontiac

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