Letters: week of Aug. 16

Canada’s border system is working well

Sir: Some 20,000 to 30,000 Mexican agricultural workers come to work on Canadian farms each year.

Do Conservatives want to build a wall to keep them out? You’d think so from their comments on the border.

Migrants to Canada have a lower crime rate — including violent crime — than native-born Canadians, and they work harder for less money. They make us a better, kinder, gentler nation.

Perhaps the border skeptics don’t want them here because they seem to have strong family values and a better work ethic. And their religion is more maternal and compassionate. Here, for too many, religion has become a vehicle for demeaning minorities, immigrants and foreigners.

People who come to Canada outside regulated ports of entry are not sneaking in; they walk up to the police, who immediately arrest them.

They are then taken to Immigration and vetted. If a criminal background or anything nefarious is found they are immediately deported. Otherwise, they can LEGALLY claim asylum.

Canada is bound by domestic and international humanitarian law in this regard. Even then, not every claim is successful.

Mexican criminals are a tiny percentage of overall Mexican travellers to Canada. To single them all out in a broad swipe as ‘criminals’ is absurd and disgusting.

On this issue, the Conservative Party is attempting to normalize falsehoods in hopes voters will come to see the truth as fake news. It is deliberately stoking irrational fears about ‘unsafe borders,’ when the system is actually functioning, as it should, and as it always has.

I reserve the right of free speech to offer an alternative viewpoint to the public. Likewise, anyone reading this, whether in agreement or readying their pitchfork, has the right to decide for themself and use their voice as they wish, on this or any other issue.

Stanton Earle
Sarnia


 

Whose brilliant idea was it to bury gasoline tanks in a floodplain?

 

Sir: The administration at City Hall sure can spin information to gullible councillors and shut out concerned citizens.

Case in point – the new gas station slated for the corner of Berger and Modeland. It’s right across the street from the Suncor Nature Way, a.k.a the stormwater management pond for Wiltshire, Twin Lakes and Rapids subdivisions.

This pond is pumped into the Wawanosh Drain, which then flows into Lake Huron upstream of our drinking water intake.

So, whose brilliant idea is it to approve a gas station with underground storage tanks of hazardous material in a floodplain next to a waterway that drains directly to the lake?

I learned of this proposal in July 2016 and expressed my concerns to the city’s CAO, planning director, clerk and planning manager.

I was advised by the planning director, Alan Shaw, that, “The city also shares your concern and we are currently working with the Conservation Authority to ensure Provincial Policy (PPS) is still maintained.”

Sounds good, right? So why now is everyone OK with violating the PPS?

In October of 2017 the matter went before city council (I was not notified, despite having registered with the CAO, clerk and planning director of my interest) and they granted an easement over city-owned land (the nature walkway) to accommodate the gas station. Again, council approves this with good spin. No mention was made of the impact on underground pipes that drain the southern portion of the Wiltshire and Rapids subdivisions. I wonder if they can withstand the constant pounding of heavy, gasoline-laden trucks delivering fuel to the underground storage tanks.

Having been, once again, prohibited from speaking to council, I AGAIN notified the city clerk and planning director of my interest.

And the last straw – this proposal has received final blessing to proceed and the planning department report to council now explicitly states it is supported by the PPS, and again the city clerk failed to notify me.

Boy, if I had done my job as bad as these folks, well, let’s just say I would have had a lot of free time on my hands.

 

Debbie Krukowski
Sarnia