Week of October 21

Our democracy has been replaced by edicts and tyranny

Sir: I notice a trend these days is for many Western governments and mainstream media to blame the non-vaccinated for increased COVID-19 deaths and infections.

Yet evidence to the contrary from virologists and doctors is shunned and their findings labelled conspiracy theories.

In true democracies, an opposing viewpoint can always be debated. However, today in the Western world, any dissent of the establishment’s official COVID narrative faces prohibition whether in social media, YouTube, newsprint, TV or radio.

Censorship is rampant. The reality is that Canadians live under tyranny draped in a democracy wrapper.

Statistics Canada figures for the current year show the death rate has barely registered a change compared to previous non-COVID years. A mere 0.038% increase, which relates mainly to seniors suffering co-morbidities over 70 years of age.

So despite a low level of COVID fatalities in the general population, federal and provincial governments implemented Draconian measures to fight the “pandemic.”

Canada’s national emergency response organizations, set up under previous legislation to control natural disasters (including pandemics such as COVID), were sidelined. Total control was given to the federal and provincial medical officers of health. The consequential chaos that followed is very self-evident.

Actions include multiple lockdowns/quarantines; forced mask wearing; forced closure of all “non-essential” businesses (whatever that means); coercion of healthy people to suffer the jab; and multiple restrictions without COVID passports.

Who agreed to ANY of this? Especially when effective and much less intrusive alternatives have been demonstrated elsewhere in the world.

Currently, Canada is governed by edict and is in lockstep with other Western countries that have downtrodden their Constitutions. Our fundamental law has been replaced with a tyranny that is totalitarian in nature.

When the third, fourth and fifth jabs are demanded of you and your children to maintain COVID passports and to keep your jobs, at what point will you say enough is enough.

Will you acquiesce with the “law” even though it tramples your innate rights, or will you follow in the footsteps of your forebears and defend freedom and justice?

Brian Wallace

Sarnia


Reasoned discussion needed, not offensive columns

“What is the recipe for division? For a full list of ingredients, see Marg Johnson’s Oct. 7 guest column rant about “Self-centred vaccine whiners.”

That sounds like a good strategy, right? Insult the ones who oppose your line of thinking. She went on to refer to “anti-vaxers” as “flat-earthers,” and told them to get their “heads out of their butts” for the sake of seeing the “Big Picture.”

Well, here is my response, and I don’t aim this at Marg Johnson, but to everyone who may feel the same way she does:

It’s common for people who don’t have good arguments to create what the cool kids call “strawmen.” Let me offer a different perspective, so they can understand where their opponents are coming from.

I don’t speak for everyone, but feel it necessary to shed some light on this side of the aisle, so that at least in our small community we can find common ground.

Most people I know who don’t have the COVID vaccine are not anti-vaccine. Most have received shots their entire lives for measles, mumps, tetanus, etc.

But this is what’s different: the COVID vaccines still have a lot of unknowns. That, right then and there, affords them the right to decide on their own. It’s a personal, medical decision.

Secondly, doctors, including immunologists around the globe, are being silenced and censored. This is scary.

(Look up viral immunology expert Dr. Byram Bridle’s open letter to the University of Guelph).

When experts can’t debate, discuss, or sort through what they’ve experienced with their own patients, including alternative treatments, it’s a major red flag.

I could go on. But hopefully, readers have a taste of where the other side stands. There are smart, credentialed people on both sides.

I think we can all agree that the best recipe for unity is to, once and for all, separate politics from health care.

Also, be willing to hear each other out. More speech is the answer. Not less. Over and out.

Brandon McCaskill

Sarnia


Guest column was divisive and disappointing

Sir: I was terribly disappointed to read the Oct. 7 guest column in your paper by Marg Johnson. I found it brash and offensive and not worthy of print.

In our present culture, this kind of opinion piece only further divides our citizens, who all feel passionately about their own views on vaccines, passports, and other virus-related topics.

What advantage is served by printing a column that claims people who hold an opposing view to the writer actually believe the earth is flat?

There is more than enough division, hatred, and chaos in our city without fanning the flames.

If readers feel the urge to read one-sided, narrow-minded, anger-inducing opinions not based on facts, they need look no further than social media. Sincerely,

T. L. Scott

Sarnia


Right to refuse the vaccine comes with consequences

Sir: Sarnia Councillor Margaret Bird should give her head a shake.

She questioned the authority of Lambton’s Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Chris Greensmith, for urging local employers to bring in mandatory vaccination policies.

Who better than Dr. Greensmith to take the responsibility and authority of the office while his successor was on leave?

With rights come responsibilities. With choices come consequences. I have the right to make my own choices, but then I have the responsibility to accept the consequences of that choice.

I have the right to drive a vehicle and the responsibility to learn to do it in a safe and legal manner. If I chose to drive without a licence and/or put the safety of myself and others at risk, I must live with the consequences.

The fourth wave of the present pandemic is proving to be an epidemic of the unvaccinated. In the small percentage of people who receive the vaccine and still get COVID-19, the symptoms are much less severe.

Children under 12 and some medically fragile persons do not have a choice. Others do.

If I chose to exercise my right and refuse the vaccine, then I must, as a consequence, accept the responsibility of others who chose to protect the greater populace from my decision. Respectfully,

C. A. Oostenbrink

Point Edward


We know everything we need to know about speeders

Sir: Re: The Oct. 7 letter, “More data needed before imposing citywide speed reductions.”

A few of the writer’s comments are interesting.

After the bell rings at the school in my neighbourhood it still offers playground equipment, basketball nets, a baseball pitch and soccer goal. The school is far from a “ghost town.”

There are also three park grounds within walking distance.

Walk your pup or ride a bike down Cathcart Boulevard, Lakeshore Road or Indian Road and you can witness first-hand the vehicle speeds.

When I bike on Cathcart Boulevard the vehicles fly past me — at least until I pass them waiting in line at the drive-through for their double-double.

I understand why people post “Slow Down” signs in front their homes. They are concerned for the safety of children.

More data needed? No. The city is installing traffic lights at two Cathcart Boulevard intersections for a reason.

Take your time when driving, and respect your community. Respectfully,

Michael Murray

Sarnia


Paralympian Priscilla Gagné a true role modal

Sir: Thank you for the front-page photo and story about Priscilla Gagné in the Sept. 16 edition of The Journal.

For our family, her success at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo and being named Canadian flag-bearer for the closing ceremonies was a welcome pause to cheer and celebrate the positive during these challenging times.

We first met Priscilla when she was about four years old. They were neighbours and our daughter Margaret babysat her.

I have happy memories of a feisty young lady marching up and down the sidewalk in her mother’s cowboy boots and singing Shania Twain songs.

I’m hoping when things settle down Priscilla can be invited to visit Queen Elizabeth II School, which my grandchildren attend. She is a prime example to others of how to overcome challenges through resilience.

Congratulation to Priscilla for all of her hard work, and to all those who supported her.

Mary Ettinger

Sarnia


A right is limited when it harms others

Sir: Regarding Greg Hamilton’s letter of Sept. 16, “No, to mandatory vaccines.”

I totally disagree. To claim the COVID-19 vaccines have not been fully tested is ridiculous. Hundreds of millions have been vaccinated, and hundreds of thousands have died of the virus.

If someone feels healthy as an ox and doesn’t want to be vaccinated, fine, but stay within the confines of your home.

People don’t have a right to go to a restaurant or any other place and infect others. Their right stops when it can cause others to die.

Marcelo Villanueva Jr.

Sarnia


Will Marilyn Gladu run for Conservative leadership again?

Sir: I am confused and concerned. Weeks prior to the 2021 federal election I asked myself, will Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu in future years continue her efforts to become Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada?

I believe she, like her provincial counterpart Bob Bailey, is a good constituent advocate. Unfortunately, as I interpret the Oct. 7 news article “Vote Split,” she does not believe in countrywide democracy.

My belief is people are entitled to vote for the candidate of their personal choice. Vote splitting is what it is, a tally of all votes counted by duly appointed officials.

We learn about political parties and where they and their candidates stand on issues. Voters must then decide for whom they will vote.

Why do voters continue to be persuaded to cast their ballots strictly along party lines?

Marilyn Gladu has every right to feel entitled to contend again for the Conservative Party leadership.

It seemed to me very questionable how the committee in March of 2020 suspended her nomination efforts. The committee never released any information or its reasons as to why she and others running for the position were stopped in their tracks.

I feel Marilyn would run again if the procedures were done fairly.

Democracy depends on freedom of choice. As voters, please examine personal views and party stances. Don’t be entirely swayed by false and/or irrational ads and media news.

Harry Patrick Day

Sarnia