More than one issue in South Bruce election

Dear Editor:

Municipal elections will be wrapping up in about a week. The results will be in and we will shortly thereafter begin a journey with a newly elected council.

We all know that as residents, the decision about who represents us on council is in our hands. We elect them based on who we think will represent our municipality in a way that is respectful, responsible and fair.

There have been some discouraging comments made in our community about the Teeswater Medical Centre. I thought it was important to clarify a few things about this important project for a couple of reasons. One being, if potential candidates are not properly informed and making incorrect statements about this project, what other community projects or issues are they not properly informed about? And second, how do these discouraging comments look to potential businesses? Some “yellow sign” candidates are making statements opposing the medical centre project because it “is funded by the NWMO.” This statement could not be farther from the truth or more insulting to the countless volunteers working tirelessly on the committee to bring this centre to fruition.

The medical centre committee has accepted any and all donations offered in order to get the project off the ground. Those donations are not required for the long-term operations of the medical centre. The medical centre is set up in a way to be self-sufficient based on the rent occupants will pay to be set up in the facility. And while we’re discussing the NWMO donations, I know some of you will be thinking “bribery!” but I ask you this: if the NWMO was trying to “buy” us, wouldn’t they just offer to pay for the entire medical centre? The medical centre project is also run by a group of volunteers.

People who saw a real need in our community and took it upon themselves to get the ball rolling and make it happen.

That vision this amazing group of community-minded individuals had has been getting closer to completion every single day, not because of a standalone donation by the NWMO, but because of the hard work and dedication of these community members. Every single one of them, and every single donor, deserves a thank you, not to be criticized for volunteering their time and money by individuals who want to represent us as councillors. The one-issue PoW candidates should be helping and supporting volunteer groups that are making our community better, not condemning them for accepting donations from specific industries.

At the recent mayoral debate in Formosa, attracting and maintaining businesses was a topic of conversation. Here in South Bruce, we are so very fortunate to have some amazing, innovative companies setting up shop or choosing to continue operating in our beautiful home. I have to wonder, how will the yellow sign candidates attract new businesses to South Bruce? Based on their displays of “Not welcome – Move out” and “Welcome to Nukewater” signs, and the negative media attention they have garnered, I would argue that prospective businesses will view South Bruce as an unwelcoming community and will choose to set up their business elsewhere. Who would want to bring their companies here given the nasty welcoming committee we seem to have? Yes, the deep geological repository (DGR) is an issue in our community – one issue. There are countless other issues as well. Our current council has already committed to holding a referendum. We do not need to elect one-issue activists in order to have our say on that issue. We should all think long and hard before handing the reigns of our beautiful community over to an activist group that has proven time and time again to spread misinformation and fear.

We need a council that can see the bigger picture. That can look beyond the DGR. That can see us through a “yes” or a “no” decision of willingness. A council that does its best to fairly represent all ratepayers, regardless of their personal opinions on one singular project.

I strongly believe that we all want what is best for our municipality, regardless of our position on the proposed DGR.

I will choose to elect those who are positive, progressive, respectful and informed. I will choose hope over fear every single day. Will you?

Sheila Whytock, Teeswater

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