Your Local News

in Chatsworth, Grey Highlands, Southgate, West Grey

The Village Banner ad
Grey County Reads
Annesley Events

November 20, 2023

Letter to the Editor: David McLaren was a friend you could trust

David McLaren

LETTER TO THE EDITOR — The David McLaren I knew forty years ago was a fellow junior bureaucrat in the Ontario Ministry of Health. In an organizational culture noted for both pomposity and duplicity, David stood out as young man dedicated to a few bedrock principles. Clarity in communication was one. Honesty was another. Doing your homework before venturing a grand opinion was yet another.

Some bureaucrats didn’t like David. He made them uncomfortable. He insisted on asking “why” questions before submitting to “how” instructions. He took the rather quaint position that we in government should do what we said we would do.

David brought these same principles to friendship. If you asked him for help, he would give it. If you offered him help, he accepted it with grace. He would not offer you the indignity of false agreement with you, merely to be sociable. He was not querulous by nature, but he could be augmentative if you offered him an argument that was shallow, lazy or stupid. He was a faithful friend to your best nature, not your worst. He was a friend you could trust.

The causes he espoused over the years were the causes of those who had been trampled. His sympathy was not the facile pat on the back while heading somewhere else. If he felt something was wrong and people had been hurt, he needed to discover why they were hurt, how they had been hurt, and what must be done about it. Only then could he turn sterile analysis into practical sympathy.

Decent housing. Adequate income levels. Democratic socialism. Recognition of indigenous rights. A fair green world. These he cared about, just as he cared about the landmark achievements of his wife Lenore, and the journeys and pursuits of his children and Lenore’s children.

The last project he and I worked on together was last year, when he doggedly tried to uncover why seniors in his part of Ontario had the worst rates of access to primary health care in the province. We faced the same obstructionist bureaucracy in which we had earlier wallowed. It felt like old times.

If there is a heaven, David is there now, arguing with its gatekeepers over the innate unfairness of the entrance fees.

John Butler,
Grey Highlands


At South Grey News, we endeavour to bring you truthful and factual, up-to-date local community news in a quick and easy-to-digest format that’s free of political bias. We believe this service is more important today than ever before, as social media has given rise to misinformation, largely unchecked by big corporations who put profits ahead of their responsibilities.

South Grey News does not have the resources of a big corporation. We are a small, locally owned-and-operated organization. Research, analysis and physical attendance at public meetings and community events requires considerable effort. But contributions from readers and advertisers, however big or small, go a long way to helping us deliver positive, open and honest journalism for this community.

Please consider supporting South Grey News with a donation in lieu of a subscription fee and let us know that our efforts are appreciated. Thank you.

Grey County Libraries subscribe tower ad Abbeyfield House - Durham Open House Powerful Machines
Home-Based Childcare Provider Info Session Grey Bruce Animal Shelter Bernard's quality cars ad click for inventory. Grey Highlands Library: Hiring CEO/Librarian Barbara Pearn Artist Donate to Canadian Red Cross Canadian Anti Fraud Centre ad Forests Ontario ad Crime Stoppers of Grey Bruce Your ad her $59/week Grey Bruce the women's centre MADD Canada