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Letters to the editor, week of March 27

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Decision denies homeless a basic human right

In light of the Ontario Superior Court decision about the fate of River City Vineyard homeless shelter, I would like to publicly commend Pastor George Esser and the church trustees for continually advocating for those struggling to make ends meet.

I also applaud Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley and for Coun. Andy Bruziewicz for voting against its closure and acknowledging that homelessness in our community needs to be addressed.

I can also tell you what will happen to those without the basic necessities of housing. The impact of this closure is more than just the mere shutting of doors. While appreciating the legalities and importance of municipal bylaws I believe strongly that we have an obligation to provide our citizens with basic human needs and rights, including a place to live.

The research is clear: those living in poverty are at higher risk of poor health. As a Nurse Practitioner who witnesses the severe impacts of poverty daily, I know that good health is more than just an absence of disease. Income, housing, nutrition and food security are also great predictors of health.

In fact, these social determinants of health can have more impact on our well-being than biology and our environment.

Society, the government and health-care providers have an obligation to address such issues.

The residents of the River City Vineyard homeless shelter deserve a roof over their heads. The health of our community depends on it.

Alana Halfpenny

President-Elect, Sarnia-Lambton Chapter, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.


Show Caughlin video to wider audience

Sir: First, congratulations on your new endeavor. It’s well put together.

Now, as I sit here after reading yet another story about (Sarnia murder victim) Karen Caughlin, I’m thinking maybe the OPP could, should contact all the Tim Hortons in the Sarnia area and ask if it would be possible to have the “Karen” video shown on their in-house network.

Maybe some stranger could have the match that lights the candle.


Joseph Regent Lamarche


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