Letters: week of Sept. 6

Missing information about eVoting

Sir: On Aug. 15 I attended a candidate information session, presented by Intelivote from Nova Scotia.

I learned voters will NOT be able to vote unless they have one of the following:

* PC users will need Windows operating system 7 and up (which supports browsers (i.e. 11, Firefox 51 and higher, Chrome 56 and higher, and Edge – Windows 10)

* MAC users need MAC OS 10.0 and higher (which supports browsers Safari 10 and higher, and Chrome 56 and higher).

Many people will now require computer upgrades in order to vote! Who will pay for this? Voters were led to believe that as long as they had a computer, they would be fine.

Backup security was said to be covered by algorithms. When asked if they’d considered a VPN (Virtual Private Network) and intranet, instead of the global Internet, they indicated their site wasn’t VPN accessible.

That’s strange because VPN technology creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the Internet. Obviously they’ve overlooked hackers.

During voting, Intelivote does backups to disk every 20 minutes. This is not acceptable. What happens to all the lost data during those 20 minutes if an irregularity occurs?

Intelivote has a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) in case of power outages. This covers a few minutes while connecting to another power source, BUT if the power outage lasted several hours, then all data would be lost.

Intelivote needs an incremental back up to an offsite server, in a totally different location. This is crucial!

After seven incorrect logins, voters are denied access and must open a new browser. Most would give up in frustration.

Vision problems are also an issue, and not every computer is designed to accommodate this legally required accessibility need. Obviously, it hasn’t been considered.

Why hasn’t this crucial information been communicated to the voters?

Of course, the best way out of all this “disaster waiting to happen” is to have the choice of paper ballots, which, after all, is still in our legislation.

 

Margaret Bird
Bright’s Grove

 


Heartfelt thanks for Pathways 

Sir: Please allow me to applaud and offer heartfelt thanks to Pathways Health Centre for Children here in Sarnia.

When our grandson was born four years ago, his lungs collapsed. He was not expected to live. He has spent the past few years at Pathways and will start JK this month. He played T-ball this summer with a jersey down to his ankles!

I remember going to a meeting a few years ago. We walked into a room with at least ten people involved in his care.

Believe it or not, I was speechless.

To all the staff who have been involved with him and our family on this journey, I say once again, God Bless you all.

Sincere thank you all from a grateful grandmother.

 

Mary Ettinger
Sarnia

 



Library a great resource after loss

Sir: My father died in 2017. As was typical of families in the 50’s & 60’s we inherited a collection of 35mm slides. With two siblings who also coveted this collection the obvious solution was conversion to digital.

Scanning slides is a very time-intensive process. It took me four hours to scan 250 slides. The cost of having someone convert the collection was prohibitive. Also, I did not want to release our beloved family memories into the care of a stranger.

Many may not know that our wonderful public library has a photo scanner in the Maker Spaces section on the 2nd floor – Christina street. There is no cost. All that is required is a library card, a USB drive and lots of time (appointments preferable). Assistance was provided by Amanda Knight in the operation of the scanner. It is very simple to use.

Surprisingly converting the slides was a wonderful meditative way to grieve my father’s loss. I viewed our family history literally through my father’s lens.

Our library is an amazing place with so much to offer us. I so appreciate the help. Thank you.


Laura Jacob
Sarnia

 


 

City has been ‘hoodwinked’ with new school construction

Sir: It is distressing to see the cost overage and timeline extensions on the renovations to St Clair High School. A nearly 60% cost overrun seems unconscionable.

Undoubtedly, these costs will escalate even more with the delay to determining the outcome for SCITS. Assuming more support from the current provincial government should not even enter the thought process.

Are contractors not held accountable by Council for executing to their bids? Is this a case of Centennial Park all over again?

It would seem logical that contractors consider the availability of labour, materials and delays due to weather and so on in formulating their bid proposals.

It would be very interesting to see the bids of the original competing contractors who may have been higher but more realistic.

I think this City has been hoodwinked again by a procurement process lacking in integrity and contractor accountability.

Oh well, to quote Brian McKay, Superintendent of Business from the August 30th Journal article, “fingers crossed”.

 

Bob MacIntyre

 


 

Sarnia Building Trades ready to work

Sir: As representatives of Sarnia’s unionized work force, representing over 16,000 unionized workers including over 6,000 Building trades workers, the Sarnia and District Labour Council and Sarnia Building Trades take great exception to the recent assertion printed in your paper and previously (June 2018) made by Lambton Kent District School Board Director of Education, Jim Costello, that delays with Great Lakes Secondary School are due to a lack of available skilled trades people in the area.

This assertion is patently false. All requested trades people on the project have at all times been provided to the contractor without delay.

What’s more, this statement is reckless and potentially damaging to Sarnia Lambton’s economic outlook. The good work being done by the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership and The Sarnia Chamber of Commerce to attract new business and industry to our area is put at risk by statements such as this. When potential investors in our area read that there is difficulty providing manpower to a project like Great Lakes, it causes them to question whether or not they should locate here and be faced with the same problem.

The unions represented by the Sarnia Building Trades are the highest skilled, safest workforce in the world. They are also ready to go to work. To suggest otherwise is an irresponsible deflection tactic from what the real cause of delays may be.

 

Jason McMichael
Sarnia & District Labour Council
President                                                                                         

 

John Swart
Sarnia Building Trades
President

 


 

Time for a woman mayor

Sir: I’m five-years-old and grownups begin to tell me I can grow up to be anything I set my mind to. Why wouldn’t I be able to?

I’m 10-years-old and looking at the wall of “Mayors of Sarnia” in City Hall. None of them look like me, and it sinks in.

I am 16-years-old, and men shake the hands of my male co-workers, but not mine. As I mention my career goals, I am interrupted and told to smile more.

I am 20-years-old and I have never lived in a city with a woman mayor. I am 20-years-old and have never seen a woman president or student president of my university. I am 20-years-old and have never seen a woman prime minister. I’m 20-years-old and grown ups still tell me I can grow up to be anything I set my mind to. Why would I be able to?

On June 27th Anne Marie Gillis signed her papers to run for mayor of the City of Sarnia, the first woman to run for mayor in 15 years, and potentially, the first woman elected as mayor of Sarnia in history.

I find myself filled with hope for the five-year-old girls who walk through City Hall to see someone that looks like them on that wall. Representation matters.

 

Madeline Vrolyk
Sarnia