Week of September 7

Wrong to tax rural residents for a service they can never use

Sir: So here we go again.

Sarnia city council is meeting on Sept. 11 to decide whether everyone should pay for bus service, whether they can reasonably access the service or not.

This is the second meeting and third report to council on this matter. Overwhelmingly, the people who attended the public meeting on June 19 told council to keep the status quo – only those who receive the service should pay for the service.

This message was sent loud and clear by residents, farmers and the Ontario/Lambton Federation of Agriculture. Even the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce spoke out against taxing people for bus service they cannot receive.

There are still a few councillors who believe transit is like parks and roads. Well, as residents of rural Sarnia we can tell them – IT IS NOT!

We can drive our car on the road (which we subsidize through the gas tax – using more than our urban counterparts who use the bus service) and we can go to parks, arenas, etc.

Perhaps those councillors who still believe this, despite the evidence to the contrary, should take a drive out to rural Sarnia.

Or better yet, have a friend drop them off so they can access the bus service back to Sarnia. We’ll warn them – it’s a long walk!

We’re sure the intractable ones on council will stick to their guns, but for those with an open mind, who WILL listen to the rural residents of the community, please vote for the status quo.

We are willing to pay our fair share of taxes so if you decide otherwise, – to make us pay – please be ready to buy more busses to provide the service.

To our fellow rural residents and business owners, please come to the council meeting on Sept 11 at 4 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. Even if you don’t register to speak your presence will speak volumes to Council.

Brian and Linda Drury

Sarnia


When will something be done with our downtown’s ugly eyesore?

Sir: There has been a bit of a fuss recently about the presence at the airport of a large unsightly pile of material dredged from the bottom of Sarnia Harbour.

We have, however, been told there is a plan to deal with it and before long the eyesore will be taken care of. So while it is bigger than a molehill, it’s not really much of a mountain either.

In the meantime, passersby and visitors to the city may notice, not an unpleasant pile of dirt, but an offensive pit almost on City Hall’s Front Street doorstep.

For years now the partly excavated property on the west side of Front north of the Corporate Centre has been allowed to exist as a neglected, weed-infested, virtual brownfield; and as far as anyone can tell, there is no plan to clean it up and little public or political concern about it.

That lack of concern may arise from the fact that the site has been neglected for so long that saplings and shrubs have taken over, tricking us into seeing greenery blending into the landscaped public walkway along the river.

At the Front Street sidewalk level, however, a ramshackle chain-link fence (unsightly in its own way) points at the true situation – rusted pilings, stagnant ponds, tangled brush and weeds.

There are probably many other neglected properties, both publically and privately owned, that could be cited for their unpleasant and shabby condition.

This one, however, is in the heart of downtown; and it is certainly a disfiguring blemish on the waterfront which most of us think is the city’s most attractive physical asset.

Whether problem areas are publically or privately owned, last a few months or several years, they unfortunately detract from all the good work done by others to make Sarnia look like a place where we are proud to live.

Bryan Trothen

Sarnia


MP claiming credit for something she hasn’t done

Sir: I am intrigued by the inherent contradiction of Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu’s claim in her recent ‘Federal Express’ mail-out that she will “continue to work hard to keep the flow of support coming … for infrastructure, rural internet, Lambton College, the bio-economy and conservation with Aamjiwnaang First Nation.”

The nearly $60 million dollars Sarnia-Lambton has received in the past 18 months is a direct result of the Trudeau government’s priorities as set out in both the 2016 and 2017 budgets, both of which she VOTED AGAINST.

The hypocrisy here may be subtle but no less disturbing.

Eileen Viola

Bright’s Grove


Trudeau has kept many of his party’s election promises

Sir: Re: the Aug. 24 letter from Richard George, ‘Letter-writer’s criticism of Conservative MP misinformed, disrespectful.’

My original letter said the Liberal Party’s carbon tax plan would not be imposed ON TOP of other already existing provincial plans, which our MP’s mail-out specifically said was the case and which is misinformation. It is not ‘disrespectful’ to simply point out the facts.

Mr. George claimed Trump is responsible for Canadian economic growth since Trudeau has been in power. Yet first quarter 2017 U.S. economic growth was only 1.9% compared to Canada’s 3.7%.

What’s more, 1.9% is about what the U.S. economic growth rate has been for several years now, before Trump or Trudeau were elected.

Why didn’t the same rate of American economic growth that is supposedly assisting Trudeau so much benefit former Prime Minister Stephen Harper any? He only achieved a maximum rate of growth of 1.6%?

Trump has not been able to pass any major economic legislation in the U.S. yet.

Mr. George said Trudeau broke election promises such as ‘electoral reform,’ which is ironic considering the Conservatives fought tooth and nail against any election reform.

But promises Trudeau HAS kept include:

A tax cut for the middle tax bracket (the Conservatives did not cut tax rates but DID increase the rate on the lowest wage earner bracket).

A new Child Benefit tax credit that is helping more Canadian families in actual need, rather than boutique Conservative tax breaks aimed at niche vote demographics.

Took CPC muzzles off Canadian scientists, who again can report their findings to the public.

Returned OAS eligibility to age 65, which the CPC had raised to 67.

Increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement payments for single seniors and grants to students, and reopened nine Veterans Affairs offices across Canada the Conservatives had closed, to name but a few.

Misinformation seems to flow from the CPC and its supporters so fast and furious one needs to keep a finger on the pause button just to keep up.

Stanton Earle

Sarnia


Kudos to those kind strangers who helped us out

Sir: I was in an accident on Brock Street recently and although, thankfully, no one was hurt, it was a very scary experience.

The neighbours on Brock Street immediately came to our assistance, checking on me and the youngsters in the car.

One lady went to her house and brought back some water, another gentleman offered his porch for us to sit on, another his support and concern.

In all the excitement I didn’t get their names but would like to genuinely thank these people for their care and concern.

There really are a lot of good people out there!

Dale Pugsley

Sarnia


I may be only 12-years-old, but here’s my life till now untold

Sir: I don’t know how it happened, I don’t know how life turned into this.

I’m still just a kid and my life feels like a vid.

Feels like everything is an act, and everything is played.

I hate seeing the Darkside of people, every little shade. 🙁

Keep your head held high, please don’t be shy.

Time will pass by and eventually we die.

So enjoy the trees, really feel the breeze, look at the rocks, and take long walks.

Always think before you speak, because if you don’t it means you’re weak.

Words can cut like a knife, you could say the wrong thing and it could end someone’s life.

I know it’s sad to say, but some people don’t show if they’re feeling that way.

These days everything is about social media, Facebook, Instagram and such.

You’ll get teased about how many likes you have or don’t have or how many friends you have on Snapchat or followers on Twitter.

But don’t worry about that, you deserve a pat on the back.

Don’t hide, live, make memories, be funny, get a job you love and make good money.

Kylie Grant Churchill

Age 12

Sarnia