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Letters to the editor

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Arbitrary restrictions like those of a totalitarian regime

Sir: Most people had no idea of what it is to live in a controlled totalitarian or communist regime.

When we lived in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s, everything was controlled – no alcohol, no Christian activities, no Bibles. Western newspapers were heavily censored by blacking out whole sections of pictures and prints, and women had no rights, including driving. Julie Andrews was censored for showing a bare ankle on the cover of the Sound of Music LP!

I say ‘had’ no idea because now we are used to the implications.

Federal, provincial, and city governments rule entirely as they choose. You cannot take your wife out in a boat (I don’t partake yet my taxes pay for the facilities), yet you can ride a bus for free with strangers (I don’t partake yet my taxes pay for those that do).

You can buy alcohol and drugs, yet doctors and dentists are closed, major operations are cancelled, and cancer treatments curtailed. The list is almost endless.

The state controlled media is fully supportive of government, irrespective of performance. If you criticize, you are pilloried!

One MP suggested Dr. Theresa Tan, Chief Public Health Officer, be sacked for poor performance (being wrong on the travel ban, asymptomatic transmission, and voluntary quarantining). She still has the blind trust of the Prime Minister and national press while the MP, Derek Sloan, was vilified for being racist and misogynist – duh!

As I write this, as someone very much in the vulnerable category to this virus, some 814 deaths have been reported in Ontario with 573 of those deaths in long-term care homes, i.e. just 241. In the general populations, that is around 10 per day.

That is 10 too many and heartbreaking for all Ontarians, but, in perspective, during the same period some 648 babies will have been aborted, 27 every day. We also lose some five people a day to opioid drugs in Ontario.

I hope Canadians will take note of current governmental inefficiencies and overreach control at all levels when our taxes are increased and services curtailed in the months and years ahead.

We need to get businesses open and people back to work.

Keith Patrick


Dear Dr. Gladu, I’d like a second opinion on miracle drug

Sir: I was alarmed to read in the local and national media (Macleans & Toronto Star) that our MP, Marilyn Gladu, emerged from social distancing and her campaign to lead the country to call for a premature return to work and the widespread experimental use of the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 infections.

She echoes the hype of U.S. President Donald Trump about this drug, a proven treatment for malaria, arthritis, and lupus. Warnings are everywhere not to take it for COVID-19 because of its side effects, including death.

But that didn’t stop her from promoting it as a game-changer. Will Lysol injections be the next recommendation?

Gladu went on to say the U.S. has been successful with the treatment of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and zinc sulfate. “They’ve tried this on thousands of COVID patients with nearly 100% recovery rate,” she said.


I would ask the former health critic to provide factual data or research supporting this ridiculous prescription before we all seek a second opinion.

Promoting ill-informed quackery from dubious sources demonstrates poor judgment and lack of leadership. It also creates a stampede by the duped to needlessly stockpile and hoard this supposed miracle cure.

I spoke to a friend recently who actually takes hydroxychloroquine for arthritis. He suffers terribly these days and cannot get his prescription filled because the drug is now out of stock at his local pharmacy.

Promoting lies and misinformation like this is downright dangerous. Leadership requires credibility.

Rather than a flippant dismissal that she was quoted “out of context” (which she was not), a simple admission that she misspoke and an apology for misleading the public would be a good start.

We are all better off citing the facts and pulling together in times like this.

Joe Viola

Bright’s Grove

Challenges of today could bring a greater future

Sir: Is it a “stepping” stone or a “tripping” stone?  Will it give us opportunity to go higher or fall down?

If we fall, we have the opportunity to get back up and keep going.  It may give us encouragement (perhaps stubbornness) to go on.

This time we are living in, virus-filled, is the stone. For some businesses the stone will appear to be their downfall.

However, with encouragement, thoughtfulness, determination, some will see this as opportunity to look ahead, perhaps in a different direction, but still with a positive attitude.

History has seen many apparent failures lead to better success.  Check out Dr. Frederick Banting, or more recently Bill Gates, who said: “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

This virus does not make you a failure.  It is an opportunity to look at a greater future. If you came this far, you can go farther. Don’t quit.

Bob Cole


Slain Mountie was member of RCMP Musical Ride

Sir: Because Sarnia is such a caring community I thought readers would like to know that Heidi Stevenson, the Mountie shot in the Nova Scotia mass murder, had been to Sarnia and left a thumbprint on our hearts.

She was a very proud member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride, and one of the first women selected to join.

When the Musical Ride performed at Hiawatha Horse Park it raised thousand of dollars for the Sarnia-Lambton chapter of the Sunshine Foundation’s ‘Dream for Kids’ program.

Our hearts break for all of Nova Scotia, and for all Canadians feeling the hurt and loss of this tragedy.

Marie Cebulski


Celebrating our front-line workers in a difficult time

Sir: Receiving the April 23 issue of The Sarnia Journal was a treat.

The range of articles was extensive and gave me a good view of happenings in the city. I liked that one of our front-line workers was highlighted on the front page.

I did enjoy Cathy Dobson’s article, “How some local businesses are adapting to new reality.” It is heartening that a small business owner could build his business and hire more people in the midst of a pandemic.

Kudos to our front-line workers!

Alan Campbell

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