Letters: week of Feb. 8

Recording in-camera city council meetings is a good idea

Sir: Regarding the audio recording of city council’s closed meetings.

As a taxpayer I feel that ALL meetings, closed or otherwise, should be recorded regardless of whether councillors want it or not.

Doing so would eliminate some of the ridiculous cost of legal fees. When council can’t come to an agreement on something, or disagreements turn into “abuse allegations,” then everything is reduced to “he said, she said” terms.

Recording in-camera meetings would leave no doubt as to who said what and would prevent nasty and costly legal battles.

Recent episodes have cost the taxpayers a lot of money, and that does not make me very happy.

Those on council who opposed this move should be happy to have audio recorded at their meetings.

In my opinion, the only reason some councillors don’t want meetings recorded is they know they will have to ‘zip it up’ or be fearful the public will find out what they’ve actually said.

Sincerely,

Judy Badger Harris
Sarnia


Government shouldn’t give grants to groups opposing abortion

Sir: Regarding the Feb. 1 Guest Column: ‘Liberal government has misfired on summer job grants.’

In 1988, the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s abortion law as unconstitutional under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for infringing on a woman’s right to life, liberty and security. Since then, abortion has been legal.

It follows that you do not use government funds to support anything proposing to violate the Constitution or support something illegal. Therefore, there is no Liberal government ‘misfire’ regarding student summer jobs funding applications.

The previous Harper Conservatives threw taxpayer dollars at religious groups who used it to spread anti-women’s Charter rights propaganda. Most Canadians opposed that then, and still oppose it now. Over 80% of Canadians want to keep abortion legal.

Canada is secular and religion does not form policy. The long-form Census found barely 20% of Canadians attend church regularly, which may explain why Stephen Harper and Andrew Sheer’s Conservatives axed it in 2010.

A relative small minority are motivated by religious ideology fixated on the fetus and cancelling out women’s rights.

Your guest columnist claims the pre-born are vulnerable members of society. A fetus isn’t a ‘member of society’ at all, but the woman carrying it is. The lives of women and their Canadian Charter rights outweigh the so-called ‘rights’ of potential people.

Canada is not a theocracy. Our elected legislature, Charter of Rights, Supreme Court and Constitution are not subject to the rhetoric or demands of any faith, be it Christian, Muslim, Sikh or whatever.

Justin Trudeau is head of our Parliamentary system; he is not the official chaplain of Canada. Neither he nor Canada’s Constitution need appease sectarian, reactionary sides of society.

Furthermore, not only religious groups do the ‘heavy lifting’ when it comes to charitable causes. There are plenty of non-religious groups with sustainable programs that do great things without spouting religious rhetoric.

The best way to reduce abortion is to promote women’s rights, women’s reproductive rights, comprehensive school sex education programs, available contraception, and to provide resources to pregnant women.

When a pregnant woman is safe and healthy, so is her fetus.

Stanton Earle
Sarnia