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Niagara-on-the-Lake
Monday, September 26, 2022
Letter: Avoid anonymous complaints. Let’s talk to each other more
Lettertotheeditormale

Dear editor:

I recently had a pleasant surprise visit from two municipal bylaw officers who came to my front door. 

They were there to follow up on an anonymous complaint by a concerned resident after my family and I removed a very dead spruce tree from our front yard.

During the impromptu meeting I learned of bylaw No. 5139-19, requiring a permit for “application of tree removal” for any tree with a trunk diameter of more than 12.5 centimetres. This one qualified at 40 centimetres. 

In hindsight, I wish I had more time to speak with these polite gentlemen and apologize for wasting their time, but unfortunately I was in the midst of getting my one-year-old daughter down for her nap. 

Before offering them to inspect the remnants of the long deceased and beloved spruce, to take some reference photographs, we discussed my past employment experience working for the York forestry department, but forgot to mention my time with the Town of Caledon forestry department.

Their concern was certainly appreciated as the only reason for the tree to come down was safety. Truth also is that the tree was over 58 years old. I was lucky enough to appreciate it for 18 of those years.

This town has an extensive history and now we’re seeing pedestrians and their dogs being attacked by wildlife. In fact, my son was tracked and chased by a coyote to our front door after getting off of the school bus.

Do we ever wonder if it’s a direct result of their habitat being turned into profit? My wife has lived in NOTL her entire life and she often recalls hearing the screeching howl of a pack after a kill. It’s actually quite riveting.

I find we fail too often to simply talk to one another, like a community ought to. I’m guilty of that, after all I’m only human, just like you. Unless you’re a coyote …

This COVID pandemic might play a role in how we interact socially in the near future but there’s concern on different levels. The future should be on all of our minds but instead we occasionally lean our energy into an anonymous complaint.

Jordan Morrison
NOTL