Letters, Week of May 1

Mayor failed on promised detox centre

Sir: Re: Confronting Addiction, your April 17 front-page article.

In 2003, Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley’s platform called for a detox/withdrawal management center. Yet a decade later we still don’t have basic services available in Windsor and London.

It was a mayoral campaign with promises and no progress, when we needed accountability in Sarnia-Lambton.

I am not a ‘critic of Mike Bradley,’ as misrepresented in the media lately. I’m a concerned citizen who wants our youth to be able to work and remain here. I’m also a community member concerned about families dealing with addiction, many in life and death situations, with nowhere to turn.

We should be embarrassed that our hospitals turn away sick people. They have a disease, yet we tell them, “Find a detox center, and get there on your own.”

Family members are scared. The local hospital won’t order an ambulance, or even provide detox medication for the one-hour drive, so some individuals suffer seizures and permanent damage.

Something is very, very wrong with our lack of services! The current day and outpatient program is a counselling service, which we’ve had for more than 10 years.

Grand River Hospital in Kitchener has the ideal business model. In partnership with the local Withdrawal Management Center, it provides safe withdrawal by tapering prescribed detox medication, with less risk of seizure or stroke. Emergency room staff is fully trained to support the addict and family members. The addict stays in ‘detox residential’ 3 to 5 days before getting counselling for up to 21 days.

Mayor Bradley ‘calling’ for an addiction center isn’t what we need. We need a mayor and council that make it happen!

We have many talented movers and shakers in this city. We need a new leader with a business leadership background, who can develop policy and persuade others to action.

Let’s rally and get a fresh start.

Rose-Ann Nathan

Sarnia

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Grammarian taken to task

Sir: I am writing in response to Tristan Martel’s letter in the Apr.17, 2014 edition of The Sarnia Journal and wish to comment on his extremely negative words about the delightful article, “Six Things I Love About Sarnia.”

I want to refer to him as pompous (but won’t because my mother raised an intelligent and polite woman).

Mr. Martel’s reference to the article’s, in his mind, solecisms (I won’t insult him by defining the word, for surely he knows the meaning) was very petty.

I believe it was a lovely, positive article about our beautiful city that was written with eloquence, spirit, spice, warmth, and energy in a concise, bold and crisp manner.

My sad thought for Mr. Martel today is for him to “get a life.”

Respectfully,

Julie A. Palmer

Plympton-Wyoming

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 ‘Tanks’ for the memories

Sir: On behalf of the Sarnia Aquarium Society, I wish to thank you for your excellent recent article “ The Age Of Aquarium.”

We were overwhelmed by the response we received from your readers. You let many people know that this club exists and what we’re all about.  The attendance at our recently held auction was doubled, and I’m sure it was because of your kind consideration.

A special thank you goes to editor George Mathewson and photographer Glenn Ogilvie. You did a swell job.  Keep up your good work.

Jack VanderAa

President

Sarnia Aquarium Society

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Student hiring program discriminatory

Sir: Re: New government job program (hiring incentive) initiative for “Students aged 15 to 30, planning to return to school in the fall.”

There are many students aged 30 years and over who are struggling financially to find a summer job or full-time position, and are also attending school with the intention of returning in the autumn to complete their studies.

These elder students pay the same tuitions as those under 30. These elder people (Who have probably been out of work longer and have a family to feed) are being discriminated against.

The new provincial job (hiring incentive) program, which gives employers a $2-per-hour-per-student hiring incentive, is “age discriminatory.”  The Sarnia Journal should be championing for ethical schools that value students of all ages and do not discriminate against those over 30.

The hiring incentive program should benefit all students legally allowed to work in Ontario and who meet the criteria. Elder students deserve to have the same rights as younger students

As a past financial supporter of Lambton College, with three fully paid family-member students enrolled there, I find that Lambton College is discriminating against its own student population. Older students are being told to go elsewhere, even though they meet the same criteria as those under 30 and fall within the dictionary definition of “youth.”

Readers, it’s time to stop channeling money to a school or government that doesn’t help older students. I urge you to champion a program that’s beneficial to elder students as well as younger.

Age discrimination must stop immediately!

I also urge others to write to pressure our politicians and local college to rectify this situation. And if you are an employer, please give a student of any age the opportunity to work for you this summer at a fair and reasonable wage.

Brian J. McDonald

Sarnia

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