Letters to the Editor

The 4 L’s

The Bruce Peninsula Press welcomes letters to the editor. Letters are published  at the discretion of the editor and/or publisher who reserve the right to edit.

Waves at the Grotto, Bruce Peninsula National Park - Fall 2012

Waves at the Grotto, Bruce Peninsula National Park – Fall 2012

DID YOU KNOW that in our 2008 survey, Letters to the Editor were the most popular feature in the Bruce Peninsula Press? If you want your opinion heard – this is the place!

All letters must abide by the 4 Ls rule.

• Local (must be directly linked to the Northern Bruce Peninsula). The Bruce Peninsula Press focuses on issues and concerns of the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula specifically. We do not cover regional, provincial or National issues.

• Length (must be less than 700 words long),

• Cannot be Lewd,

• or Libelous

All letters must include the name of the writer.

Letters do not necessarily reflect the opinions, policies or beliefs of the Bruce Peninsula Press.

4 Responses to Letters to the Editor

  1. John Eisenloeffel says:

    Letter to The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula
    Ladies and Gentlemen
    I have been following with interest the many discussions regarding the new rules and regulations surrounding paid parking and garbage disposal in Tobermory. Although I am not a resident, I have been a visitor of this area for more than twenty years, making several trips each year to enjoy the endless beauty the area has to offer. I would like to take this opportunity to provide some feedback on these new regulations from a visitors perspective. The area has undoubtedly seen, as I have personally witnessed, a vast amount of change in the amount of interest generated from a tourism perspective during this time, and particularly over the past five years, and the need to better manage this influx is without a doubt necessary. However, I feel that the approach being implemented in its current form is both heavy handed and potentially detrimental to what I believe could ultimately be achieved, that being, a destination where people are both welcomed and encouraged to support the local economy, while enjoying a memorable and meaningful experience.
    Based on my own observations, there are several types of tourists which frequent the area. The first group are those which come for a short stay, including bus tours whose patrons may or may not have paid many of their expenses through their tour operator, day trippers, and finally, those simply passing through to take the ferry to and from Manitoulin Island. I can appreciate the need to generate revenue through some form of paid parking for this group. It is the norm in most other tourist areas and they are also the group that likely requires amenities such as washrooms, garbage disposal, and laundry facilities during their stay in town. However, the time limit being imposed for parking under these circumstances is either inadequate, comparatively expensive, or both. A two hour limit at $3 is often grossly inadequate to complete even the most basic things. It would take more than that time alone on a busy summer day trying to navigate the line ups just to shop for a few groceries and enjoy an ice cream at the Sweet Shoppe, let alone trying to have a relaxing meal at a busy restaurant. I compare it to giving your visitors a stop watch and having them check it every few minutes to make sure things are moving along on time, or face the additional cost of a parking infraction. This situation certainly does not provide a relaxing and enjoyable experience for anyone. A proposed solution to pay up to $15 for unlimited parking results in time slots which many people may not require while they support these local businesses, and makes the term cash grab seem like an understatement. Surely a more reasonable fee and time limits could be agreed upon which would be more reflective of a small tourist village versus a major city. May I propose a rate of $1 per hour with a three hour maximum for short term lots, and the same $1 per hour rate up to a maximum of $10 for longer term lots. This would allow visitors to taylor their parking requirements to their individual needs, and provide a fee structure which is more representative of the local demographic.
    The second group of visitors that I believe come here are those, like myself, who usually spend at least several days to weeks here at a time. We support the local economy in several ways, including renting accommodations, purchasing supplies, visiting attractions, and promoting the area as an excellent place to enjoy a vacation. It is this group that I believe is being the most negatively impacted by the new parking policies. Our family would normally make several trips into town during a given week to purchase supplies, buy groceries, enjoy a snack or a meal at a restaurant, or just take a stroll down the boardwalk as many local residents may also do. To require these individuals to pay for parking to accomplish these activities is in my opinion a slap in the face. We are not the major contributors to the required infrastructure improvements that need to be financed, but rather the ambassadors who consistently support the livelihood of many of the residents that live here on an ongoing basis. Our washroom, laundry and garbage requirements are paid for through our accommodation and for the most part are not generated by our trips to town. I just read that many campers on the Victoria Day long weekend vowed never to return to the area if they were being forced to pay for parking to pick up supplies required for basic survival during the period of time they were here. I would tend to agree with them entirely. Those providing accommodations to visitors for extended periods should be provided with a parking pass for those individuals so that they are able to shop for required supplies during their stay at no additional cost as anyone else who lives here is permitted to do. Anything else translates to paying for services through paid parking twice. It is my hope as a loyal visitor that council reflects on some the aspects of the current legislation to make it fair and profitable for everyone. Otherwise, there may be many more like myself that wonder whether this beautiful area is really worth the cost of visiting more than once.
    Regarding the new regulations around waste pick up and disposal, may I take a moment to express the sadness I felt while driving down Dorcas Bay on a Sunday evening in late May and seeing numerous bags of garbage torn open and strewn along the side of the roadway. While I personally appreciate and accept the responsibility of taking the waste I generate to an appropriate facility, it appears many other tourists that rent properties do not take this responsibility as seriously. Sadly, this problem will in my opinion likely become worse as the primary tourist season gets into full swing. These issues did not exist anywhere near this level in all the years that the waste bins were in place. It is my hope that a solution to this problem is found before there is more waste along the roadway than beauty. In closing I appreciate your time to review and reflect upon some the content of this communication. Perhaps it may at least provide a means for further discussion concerning these issues.

    Best Regards,
    John Eisenloeffel
    Waterloo, Ontario

  2. Hazel Lyder says:

    What a well articulated and wise opinion piece. Thank you, John, for taking the time to put it out there. One would like to think, for wise and considered action.

  3. Robert R Hines says:

    Here’s i Poem I wrote about Lions Head my gift for the people of Bruce Peninsula, it took 2 years to write, about mariners life on Georgian bay out of Lions Head, sincerely Robert R Hines. 519-389-8609
    A mile from home

    One mile east of lions head ,
    We raise our eyes behold, that majestic lion of our past
    That ancient rock of old
    10 hours of hell in nor-east swell
    Had caused our hearts much fear
    We may not reach our harbour safe
    And love ones waiting there

    For beyond the lions head
    My home in ol Eastnor
    Those sweet fields green
    The cedar trees
    The family I adore

    We must be sure this one last mile
    So we say a humble prayer
    Safely pass that Jackson shoal
    The smell of cedar now on the air

    Sailors hoping eyes, now surely search the night
    Then we see the lighthouse there
    Shining proud and bright
    Set the fenders, prep the lines, the village now insight

    Tonight We,ll sleep within our lovers arms
    Embraces oh so tight

    For beyond the lions head
    My home in ol eastnor
    The people of Bruce peninsula
    My home forever more

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