Week of April 20

Letters to the editor

People should have been consulted on voting system change

Sir: With regard to the City of Sarnia recently awarding a telephone and Internet voting contract, four-time mayoral candidate Carlos Murray suggested this concept some 20 years ago.

He wanted “every citizen to vote on council issues” and his proposal was “through electronic voting allowing people to vote over the Internet or phone as part of a democratic society.”

Carlos Murray was light years ahead of his time!

Back then, it was not well received and seemed preposterous by most. Mayor Mike Bradley tried to introduce it in 2010. Here we are in 2017, coming full circle.

Mayor Bradley and Coun. Dave Boushy felt the citizens should have been consulted and informed about the changes to the electoral vote, and security is a concern. Coun. Andy Bruziewicz was also opposed.

It seems the majority of our current council, along with city hall administration, do not care what the voting people think on most issues. Once again, common sense and logic have not prevailed.

Guess the voting public of Sarnia, which had no say in this matter, will now have to accept this company Intelivote, which is known to have a troubled financial history, because the $130,000 contract is a done deal.

Does this sound like true democracy? I think not.

N. L. Wark



Students learn about Remembrance Day best at school

Sir: I agree with letter writer Kathleen Hayes regarding Wilma McNeil.

Mrs. McNeil most certainly should be recognized and applauded for her passion and tenacity regarding Remembrance Day.

It is not possible, I believe, to ever in one’s lifetime thank our veterans for all the sacrifices that they have made.

My concerns, though, are that I want all generations to be aware of that sacrifice, the present as well as the future generations. I fear that if a statutory holiday is reinstated that most of our youth may find themselves in the malls.

I believe there is more knowledge gained in school at a Remembrance Day assembly.


Dick Steenstra




Hospital technicians deserve praise, not scorn

Sir: How many times have you sat in a waiting room at Bluewater Health waiting for an X-ray, a CT scan or ultrasound and wondered, “Why it is taking so long? I’ve been here for hours!”

We all hear about how long you have to wait for these procedures.

The fact is, it is not hours, but sometimes it feels like it.

So I set out to find out why some people complain about this waiting room drudgery. I spoke to a few of the nurses and technicians and found out. The answers will surprise you. They blew me away.

The average number of diagnostic imaging procedures performed in a given month at Bluewater Health:

X-Rays – 6,311

Ultrasounds – 2,500

CT Scans – 1,330

This represents an average of more than 10,000 imaging procedures per month or more than 330 per day!

I got this information from the bulletin board in front of the Imaging Suite on the main floor of the hospital. It is there for all to see, but, obviously, few people actually look at it.

I went back and told the technicians that I thought they were just great and wrote this because I want everyone to know.

So, the next time you feel that you are being hard done by, look the technician in the eye and say, “Thanks. You people are awesome.”

They deserve it.

Paul Pinel



Bylaw needed to stop window displays of adult-only items

Sir: In keeping with the theme of your April 6 column about massage parlours, do readers know that Sarnia has no bylaw governing the operation of businesses such as the one on London Road beside Wendy’s?

In March I took the eleven-year-old son of a friend to Wendy’s for lunch as a treat. After we were seated in the restaurant I happened to look out the window.

Imagine, if you will, my shock and dismay to see a scantily clad woman waving from the window of the store next door. I quickly realized it was a mannequin and I was grateful my young friend was seated with his back to the window.

I surreptitiously looked again and was further dismayed to see the “items” clearly on display behind her.

I was very uncomfortable throughout our visit and nervous about what I would do/say if he noticed the display.

How is it that a store of this nature is allowed to flagrantly display items that are clearly adult-only in nature? Is there not a bylaw to prevent this sort of thing? Adult video stores have their windows covered, so why not this store?

I contacted the Bylaw Department at City Hall. A spokesperson there was quick to reply and told me that one, I was not the first person to complain about this store, and two, “At this time and under our current bylaw the establishment in question is not breaking any laws.”

The complaints were investigated by the Bylaw Enforcement team and by Sarnia Police, and apparently they are “currently drafting a new bylaw which may better assist with these types of establishments.”

Considering the way Sarnia City Council has been behaving of late, I am not going to hold my breath waiting for them to do the right thing.

Meanwhile, fellow citizens, beware the mannequin in the window as you drive into Wendy’s and shield the eyes of your children because she is still there.

I am convinced store staff pose her this way intentionally. Shame on them!

Claudette Gasbarini



Raising a child with autism tough but rewarding

Sir: I am writing this because April is Autism Awareness month, and in our community autism does not speak.

So many families are affected and yet no one talks about it. Services for autistic children are limited, funding is limited, and support groups for families, caregivers and siblings are limited.

How can this change if no one speaks up?

As a parent of a child on the spectrum I can tell you that being his mom is one of the most rewarding and challenging things I will ever do.

I have learned to brush off the glares and stares while out shopping or at the park. The parenting advise from people who have no clue what is really going on, and the sympathetic smile like a secret handshake from someone who gets it.

There are so many challenges to raising a child on the spectrum but there are so many more rewards.

People will never truly see the gifts that these children are unless autism speaks.

Bobbi Atkinson