Week of October 12

Pampered leaders have no idea about small business risks

Sir: Regarding the Oct. 5 letter, “Business opposition to Liberal tax reforms is tempest in a teapot.”

I do not know how Mr. Earle can know the number of people affected by the proposed reforms before the legislation is even public, and recent polling has shown opinion on the reforms is much more evenly split than the number he quotes.

Small business owners do not like being called tax cheats for using legal tax planning methods available for 40 years, while the true 0.01% like Finance Minister Bill Morneau can use methods of planning such as stock options, which he backed away from taxing recently.

Neither he nor Prime Minister Trudeau with his “family fortune” have any idea of the hard work and sacrifices required to run a small business, or the stresses and financial risks in working without the benefits available to pampered civil servants and academics.

Rosemary Marshall

Sarnia


We can do more with Sarnia’s waterfront to attract tourism

Sir: We have recently noticed services that some other communities offer at little cost to help with their tourism.

British Columbia now has water accessible ramps for physically challenged people. One allowed access to a canoe or kayak and another access to the water.

Maybe such ramps could be included in the new Centennial Park boat ramp?

The focus seemed to be on allowing everyone access to the water. Life vest were available for loan at public beaches.

In Nelson B.C., renting a kayak, canoe or stand up paddleboard cost $10 for four hours, and storage rack space for watercraft could be rented seasonally for $50, all operated by summer students.

In Charlottetown, P.E.I. six unserviced recreational vehicle spots could be rented for $20 per night to a three-night maximum stay downtown. (Think Centennial Park lot on Front Street).

We have hundreds of RVs crossing the Blue Water Bridge that don’t get off Highway 402 due to lack of places to stay, other than the casino.

The Sarnia-Bright’s Grove area has amazing waterfront opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy.

We could increase the enjoyment of these natural assets for very little expense.

Mike Lester

Sarnia


City council has alienated voters by eliminating paper ballots

Sir: On Sept. 29, I attended an open meeting at Clearwater Arena where the subject of discussion was regaining the paper ballot option for our 2018 municipal election.

From what I’ve gleaned from the Municipal Elections Act, City Council must offer an “alternative” method of voting. The only alternative they will allow is in your choice of electronic device, which in no way constitutes an “alternative” to electronic voting.

No one thought electronic voting shouldn’t be allowed, but strongly objected to the elimination of paper ballots. They thought a referendum should have been held, allowing the citizens to choose.

City council should not have decided for us, especially when removing the paper ballot option. Alienating the voting public for no good reason defies logic, but says much about the soundness of their decision-making.

Worldwide, national and regional governments have rejected electronic voting, because the many vagaries and security issues of this new and untested system have not yet been resolved. Until these more enlightened governments and their advisors feel the system has been tested and proven, the people of Sarnia should be entitled to choose whichever method they trust.

Voting is a right. Every qualified citizen is guaranteed that right. No one can be denied that right by having the means to practice that right compromised, which is what city council is doing.

Dorothy Allan

Sarnia


Centennial Park is council’s worst blunder ever

Sir: If the proposed tree-cutting bylaw passes the whole city council should quit.

All it is is a way for the councillors to get money to cover up the biggest blunder they’ve ever made — the Centennial Park project.

They’ve built a bandstand so their friends from the U.S.A. can sit their butts on their expensive boats and watch the programs for free, at our expense.

Moving the boat dock was for their benefit, not Sarnia’s. We are fed up with this council’s mistakes!

Don Sweet

Sarnia


Letter writer had it wrong about trading restricted firearms

Sir: In a letter to the Journal published on Oct. 5, Peter R. Smith stated that due to changes in the Firearms Act done by the Harper government, “Once in the hands of a PAL (Possession and Acquisition License for firearms) holder, both restricted and non restricted firearms may be traded to anyone without records, whether they hold a PAL or not.”

This is wrong.

Restricted firearms remain registered with the federal government, as they have since 1934.

Transferring a firearm whether restricted or unrestricted to a non-PAL holder is a serious indictable offence punishable by imprisonment.

Mr. Smith is advised to familiarize himself with the Canadian Firearms Act before he advises anyone to commit a criminal act.

Bruce Toye

Sarnia


Looking for participants in a Senior Story Tellers project

Sir: I’ve enjoyed and learned from many stories I’ve been told by seniors over the years.  I want to collect them, write them down and possibly share them.

Time is running out for a good many of them, especially from the war and Great Depression years.

Some of the stories are romantic, some funny and some show incredible courage.  All of them are entertaining and can teach valuable lessons. They’re treasures and we mustn’t let them go quietly into the night.

I don’t know how to reach those with stories to tell and let them know that I want to hear them.  It will be up to them if anyone else gets to hear what they have to say, but they’ll have the opportunity to see their memories in writing.  They would have complete control of the finished product.

I think this would be a win-win for everyone. I’d appreciate any help from the community – how to get the stories and what to do with them.

To participate in the Senior Storytellers collection you can leave your name and phone number at the Strangway Community Center, 519-332-0656, or contact me directly at 519-491-0027.

Sincerely,

Rita Timm

Sarnia


Whatever happened to the plan for a new boat launch?

In June we moved to Front Street and have a clear view of Sarnia Bay Marina and the river.

Over the past three and a half months we have never seen anybody on the designated site of the new boat launching facility – no workmen, no vehicles, zero action.

Has the plan for a new place to launch boats in Sarnia been cancelled? Can anybody shed light on this total lack of activity?

Keith Patrick

Sarnia