Week of January 14

Reader saddened to see another woodlot targetted

Sir: While curiously reading the Nov. 26 article entitled “Point Spread,” I was disappointed and saddened to see yet another stand of trees is falling victim to development.

The Venetian Boulevard woodlot is home to the Butler’s garter snake – an endangered species in Ontario – and many other species.

Why is it when developers see a stand of trees they see money, rather than nature’s beauty that has withstood the test of time.

Just because it’s “there” doesn’t give developers the right to destroy it. How about a legacy, in their name, something like, ‘Alan’s Woods?’

When a stand of trees is taken down and paved over its fertile soil is wasted. Not saying it should, but if the woods has to be destroyed, wouldn’t growing food be a better use? Why not choose land that has already been razed and the soil unsuitable for growing food.

As for the Butler’s garter snakes, (hibernating there right now), moving them doesn’t mean they will survive! Who follows the snakes after a relocation and how many survive? Can you really believe all of the snakes will be moved?

The relocation of snakes has an “awe” factor that feels good to the public, but it’s not a clear picture.  If we continue to destroy the habitat of species at risk of extinction they will become extinct, obviously!

Another concern is the area’s archeological significance. The story states two studies are to be done in the spring, and I hope they are.

At least the snakes have a chance to outrun the bulldozers before the ones that were missed get permanently covered in asphalt, cement and brick, while their relatives try to survive the shock of being relocated to land that’s foreign to them.

Debbie DiBrita


Why aren’t politicians fined for breaking their own rules?

Sir: As citizens, we are told by politicians and leaders to follow COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns. Citizens who don’t are subject to fines.

How come then, when people like Ontario Finance Minister Rob Phillips and other federal and provincial members of parliament violate their own restrictions and lockdowns, they aren’t fined or charged?

How come there is no discipline or charges brought upon these leaders, the ones telling us what to do.

So if I violate their rules, does that mean all I have to do is say I’m sorry? Not!

I have asked the above in emails sent to the offices of MP Marilyn Gladu and MPP Bob Bailey, since they don’t answer the phone anymore.

Ted Bissonnette


Rule-breaking politicians should face consequences

Sir: Caribbean, here we come!
Several political ministers escaped to hot climes over Christmas – blatantly disregarding strict rules – but they were caught!
Some even posted social media videos of their at-home Christmas scenes – all intentionally planned.
“Stay at home!” “Think of others!” “We’re all in this together,” they said, without meaning a single word. This showed the people who they are – no trust, accountability, or transparency.

In my humble opinion, they should be instantly fired.
The federal and provincial governments need reminding that they work for us, not the other way round. Our tax dollars pay for these public-service employees.
The PM keeps referring to his plans for the great ‘Re-set’ and he’s right, we do need a re-set, but from an entirely different perspective.

Here’s my thoughts on what we can do right away (and 25 years ago, I was told this was too undemocratic and would never fly?)
In the next elections – federal, provincial, and municipal – all those wishing to run should first have to submit a resume.  If you were applying for a position with a multi-billion or multi-million dollar corporation you would be expected to provide your resume, citing academic qualifications, experience, expertise, and references BEFORE being considered for an
Running a country calls for some of the top positions and responsibilities in the land, so we need to adopt this process to make sure all who run for office are capable, reliable, trustworthy, accountable, transparent, have
the appropriate background for the position, and whose integrity, respect and morals are of the highest standards.

As employers of our political leaders, we need to strongly demonstrate our requirements and expectations, ready for the next elections.

It may not stop some risk-takers from hopping off to Jamaica, but, with strict position blueprints issued for perusal before deciding to run, they’ll be aware that the people mean business!

And, of course, there will be consequences for those breaking the rules!

Margaret Bird

Sarnia Councillor

93-year-old veteran grateful for strangers who stopped to help

Sir: I would consider it a favour if you would publish this act of kindness I had done for me by two strangers last month.

My vehicle broke down at a stop sign. Not a nice thing to happen any time. I am 93 years of age, handicapped and a veteran.

A young man was in the car behind me. Instead of just driving around to go on his way, he stopped to see if he could start my vehicle, but no luck.

He immediately took out his phone to cancel a meeting he had, so he could spend his precious time with me until my situation got better.

A garage was nearby, and he suggested he drive me there. My vehicle was towed and a work order made out. The receptionist said, “If you can wait 20 minutes we can take you home.”

The next day, the garage called to say my vehicle was ready, and that a lady staff member was waiting at my front door to help me.

If I had to have a vehicle break down on me, Dec. 19 was the day. I was in the right place at the right time. It was hard to believe the luck I was experiencing.

I want to thank the man who stopped for me. He is a gentleman. And his daughter, who was always there to open the car door to help me enter and exit.

I hate to think how I would have managed had they not been behind me that day.

And thank you to the garage, for finding the solution to my ongoing electrical problem, and for sending the lady staff member to my home.

I wish them all a much better 2021.

Norman Benfield


Surgery gave me renewed respect for front-line hospital workers

Sir: I had knee replacement surgery on Dec. 22, which isn’t a walk in the park, let me tell you.

But right from the first three-step check-in at the front door of Bluewater Health I was treated with respect by the nurses, nurse trainees, doctors, and tech people — everyone who works there. Never did I feel I was being patronized or talked down to (and at 68, I am very aware of that}.

Straight talk, straight answers, straight-up people doing their best to make you at least comfortable, and seemed to enjoy doing it despite the stresses and fears of the pandemic.

I was puzzled that the hospital seemed so quiet, and so smoothly run. I expected beds to be overflowing, people on ventilators or vomiting, lines of people waiting to be seen.

There was a deep intensity and focus that never varied. I was stopped and checked with COVID question, and every time I moved I could see a nurse run over to wipe the chair and equipment for the next patient.

They are not fooling around, these folks.

We see so many signs proclaiming support for health-care workers. You hardly even notice them anymore, just sort of nod, go “Yep, good job,” and get on with your day.

But if you need first-class care from people who know what’s going on and aren’t afraid to do the hard stuff to get the desired results, Bluewater Health is the best.

I only heard a nurse use a firm voice once, and I can’t figure out where she found the calm to deal with that visitor, who was going off on her about wearing a mask.

They get it all at the Emergency Department, and don’t seem to miss a step.

Marg Johnson


Helping one another best strategy for year ahead

Sir: We wish to say ‘Thank You’ to all our kind and helpful neighbours in the Willow Glen Court area. Their thoughtfulness of each other makes our neighbourhood feel save and welcoming.

As we all begin this New Year we still faces so many challenges ahead. Being mindful of each other is the only way we’ll get through this pandemic safely and successfully.

John Helle 


Beautiful trail fouled with garbage and pet waste

Sir: My husband and I took a recent walk with our two dogs on the Suncor Nature Way trail.

I am sorry to report that uncaring users have fouled this beautiful trail with pet feces and garbage.

There is a trashcan available in the parking lot. Please, people, pick up after your animals and place garbage in the receptacle provided.

This trail is for everyone to enjoy. Sincerely,

Victoria Hawksworth