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Letters, week of April 9

Published on

Sifton’s attitude paternalistic, distasteful

Sir: In response to the March 26 letter from Jamie Sloan of Sifton Properties, I take great exception to his view of our city planning.

He says Sifton’s ideas are different and they expect our city to evolve with them to satisfy people’s (?) desires.

The residents of this area have moved into a single-family residential area because they were desirous of a quiet residential subdivision without the intrusion of apartments or commercial enterprises.

Persons traveling Modeland Road neither want nor need additional traffic problems, which driveways of commercial enterprisers would cause.  Modeland is an extension of Highway 40 and a means of quickly crossing our city. Driveways would impede the flow of traffic and increase the possibility of accidents.

This is a residential area of our city, not a new community.

Sifton’s apparent attitude of ‘we’re offering you something wonderful’ is misguided. Firstly, they are not offering, they are demanding.  Their attitude of ‘we know best’ is paternalistic and distasteful.  Their plan, if implemented, would change the area forever.

If you, like me, find this attitude unconscionable, write a letter to our city council, mayor or planning department. Just maybe enough adverse documentation will halt their forceful bullying of our city. It can’t hurt.

Patricia McLean



SCITS rugby team needs a coach

Sir: I was hoping you might be able to assist the SCITS Senior Girls Rugby team find a coach.

At this time there is no one currently from the school who has offered to supervise or to coach.

This situation is not only task specific, it is also time sensitive, as the girls want to compete this month, as well as attend a sports clinic run by the Sarnia Saints April 9-10.

The school board requires someone from the school to supervise the team, and as this is not a paid position it has been very difficult to find volunteers.

Students are required to volunteer their time to graduate. It would be fantastic if that was the example set forth by teachers, especially staff members who DO NOT teach core/language courses that require an enormous amount of time to test and prepare for.

I also want to mention that there are many teams in need of qualified coaches/school supervisors.

This is not just an issue at Sarnia Collegiate, or even necessarily the Senior Girls team (although there isn’t a Senior Girls Basketball or Senior Girls Soccer team either).

There has been some interest from qualified volunteers who have offered to assist on a part-time basis, but the girls still need a head coach and representative from the school.

The SCITS Senior Boys Rugby team has done very well. They went to England for March Break this year, Montreal last year, and are planning to go to Florida next year. These young men deserve it, have worked very hard and are very fortunate to have great coaching support.

A few of the Senior Boys have offered to help train the Girls team.

Last year’s Junior Girls team did very well, and this year’s team has many of the same players, with a few new players who have played on travel teams.

The Senior Girls have a signed/committed list of over 22 players on the team. They have fallen in love with this sport, and it would be a shame if they couldn’t play.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Michele Boire



Council vote shows need for oversight

Sir:  A recent media report has revealed that the Sarnia Professional Firefighters Association made legal donations to the campaigns of three successful city councillors whom, despite the perception, proceeded to vote on a new firefighter contract.

We look to our elected officials to provide services on our behalf in a manner that is clear and transparent; free from the perception of interference or undue influence. In essence, our elected officials need be models of integrity.

Our system of democracy is based on codes of honour and ethics. To believe honourable and ethical behaviour alone ever ruled would be incredibly naive. A number of governments, be they federal, provincial regional or municipal, have instituted bodies of oversight and many more have established enforceable codes of conduct for good reason. Sarnia falls into neither category.

Mayor Bradley has stated a desire for the City of Sarnia to put in place an ethics commissioner. Such a regrettable position (or positions) is becoming necessary as governance becomes more complex. Our City has established practices that have worked in the past. They are no longer working.

Regardless of the intent, it is the mere perception that will cause the public to lose faith in its civil servants. Sarnia does not presently have mechanisms beyond the honour system to avoid perceived conflicts of interest. When there is a perception, elected officials should excuse themselves from the discussion and from the vote.

Knowing the individuals involved, I do not believe there was any malfeasance on their part, but the perception is there. When it came time to vote on the firefighters’ new contract, the appropriate move would have been to excuse themselves from any discussion on the matter.

Sir, Sarnia needs to establish strong integrity guidelines that put in place checks and balances to avoid conflicts of interest, institute recorded votes and, permit an independent body to levy sanctions ranging from public apologies to suspensions or even recall.

Jared Fedora



Politicians are cheating veterans, seniors        

Sir: When are Ontarians/Canadians going to wake up and say enough is enough?

At all levels of government we see crooked politicians, scam artists, wasted tax dollars on mindless acts.  Several politicians in the past and up-to-date involved in court cases over misleading or corrupt expenses, the eHealth scandal, helicopter scandal, gas plant fiasco, smart meter rip-offs, double paying Ontario Hydro debt, and then the powers that be throw or sneak in money-grabbing costs like environment tax, carbon tax, etc.

Our veterans, especially the injured or impaired, are cheated when they return home, their pensions cut.  Our elderly are mistreated, under cared-for, and live poorer than most convicts in jail.

All the while the politicians are getting fatter in their wallets, their expense accounts and their golden pensions. All this at our expense.

Not only the politicians but also the parties they represent should be charged and forced to reimburse our coffers. We spend billions around the world helping others and we neglect our seniors and service personnel.

Time to rid ourselves of these self-serving, political scam artists, and protect those who served for our freedoms and our parents and grandparents who got us this far.

Wake up people.

William J. Douglas Sr.








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