Letters, week of Aug. 28

Pedestrians should stay on the sidewalk

Sir: I moved to Sarnia from the Niagara area 10 years ago and like it here. It is a community of nice people.

But I do have a few complaints. Under the Highway Traffic Act, no pedestrian should walk on any road or highway and impede traffic.

My wife and I have many times seen a crowd of three or four walking abreast on the road, and they will not in any way move over. Why in good grace would anyone challenge a 3,000-pound car or truck that can’t be stopped on a dime?

A few years ago when I called the police an officer told me that if a pedestrian was hit, and I quote, “We will deal with it when it happens.”

Also, why does every city pay thousands of dollars putting in handicapped ramps at the end of every sidewalk when the wheelchairs and those four-wheeled electric carts ride on the road anyway, where they shouldn’t be.

My final complaint is about these electric bicycles. As a kid growing up I learned that any motorized vehicle should be licensed to be on the road. But electric bikes in this city are really getting out of hand and I would like the police to take action.

Why do we, as citizens, have to wait until someone gets killed on the road before something is done about it?

An accident would not only traumatize the affected family, but also the person driving the car or truck.

Thank you for your time.

James Bush

Sarnia

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School trustees also merit coverage

Sir: As a declared candidate and incumbent for a public school trustee in Sarnia, I am very interested in the coverage our newspapers provide for the trustee position. There is definitely an emphasis for city council candidates, while the coverage of the trustee candidates is inconsistent.

The focus on city councillor is understandable as they are responsible for decisions that directly impact on the welfare of Sarnia and its citizens in regards to our economy, living and working standards. But, education is no less important and is the best investment for the future of our young people, our community and our country.

To quote Kofi Annan, “Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.”

Nelson Mandela states “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

In a publication by the Ontario Education Services Corporation and provided to all Trustee Candidates, it says, “A trustee’s role is to maintain a focus on student achievement and well-being and to participate in making decisions that benefit the entire board district while representing the interests of his or her constituents. Trustees must also communicate the views and decisions of the board back to their constituents.”

Trustees are responsible for the hiring of the Director, are involved in the budget process and the development of mission statement and goals which determine the direction and set the tone for the future. From my viewpoint, trustees also have to ensure the Board actions are accountable and transparent.

Given the importance of education and the responsibilities of the trustees, it is very important for the public to be kept well informed of the trustee candidate’s experience and positions on public education.

Jack Fletcher

Sarnia 

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Cobden benefited Canadian wheat farmers

Sir: You mentioned in your last issue that Alexander Vidal named Cobden Street.

Richard Cobden, along with his colleague John Bright, both MPs in the British House of Commons, were instrumental in finally getting the government to repeal the infamous Corn Laws, which had prohibited the importation of wheat from the colonies.

This event opened the door for Canadian wheat farmers.

He probably named many of the streets in this area also after British Prime Ministers. They include Sir Robert Peel, who against his parties wishes repealed the corn laws, Lords John Russell, Derby, Aberdeen, and Palmerston.

Oliver Cromwell, of course, was on the scene much earlier.

I find your “Journal” an excellent source of local news, and enjoy wrestling with the crossword and sudoku.

Respectfully yours

Jack Howden

Sarnia

 

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Headline ‘alarmist,’ says pesticide maker

Sir: Re: Bees dying at worrisome rate, Sarnia Journal, Aug. 14, 2014

The headline of Mr. Mathewson’s article is both inaccurate and alarmist.

While the majority of agricultural stake holders, including the Canadian Honey Council, are working collaboratively in a solutions-focused effort to identify solutions to improve bee health based on sound science and fact, it is unfortunate that neonicotinoid seed treatments continue to be singled out when the reality is that a number of factors threaten pollinators.

Our industry is committed to the responsible use of its products, including neonicotinoids, which are a valuable part of modern agriculture because they are intended to minimize exposure of non-target organisms – such as bees – to pesticides. In addition, farmers understand that bees play a critical role in agriculture and they have embraced best management practices for the planting of treated seed to further protect pollinators.

Before any pesticide can be sold in Canada, it must undergo a comprehensive scientific evaluation and risk assessment by Health Canada, which would not approve a product for use if it posed an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment. Through these assessments, pesticides receive a greater degree of scrutiny than any other regulated product in Canada.

CropLife Canada recognizes the importance of protecting pollinator heath and that research into the various challenges that threaten bees is crucial in ensuring a sustainable future for agriculture and beekeeping.

Sincerely,
Pierre Petelle
Vice-president, chemistry, CropLife Canada

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Latin Fiesta a big success

Sir: The Hispanic community of Sarnia-Lambton is pleased to announce that their 2nd annual Charity Latin Fiesta held at the Polish hall on Aug. 16th was a gratifying success.

Two hundred guests danced to Latin music and enjoyed delicious Latin-American snacks while contributing to the cause. This cultural event was filled with fun and entertainment.

The following day during the Spanish Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Father Donato Lwiyando (founder of Tumaini  ni Uzima) received the proceeds from the Catholic Hispanic community of Sarnia-Lambton.

The $4,023.82 fundraised during the Fiesta will support Tumaini ni Uzima (www.hopeislife.ca), a foundation assisting the poor communities affected by war in Congo, Africa.  They provide shelter, guidance and skill development to abused and sexually exploited women and their children.

The Catholic Hispanic community of Sarnia-Lambton wishes to publicly thank all the generous people who bought tickets, the volunteer organizers who worked extremely hard to make the event a success, and the many sponsors who donated raffle prizes and money.

And a big thank you to The Sarnia Journal for helping us promote the Charity Latin Fiesta in its “What’s Happening” section.

Thank you Sarnia-Lambton! We hope to see you next year at our next super fun Latin Fiesta!

Nayi Rincon

Organization for Literacy in Lambton

Sarnia

 

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Harper backs bankers over people

Sir: I would like to inform the citizens of Sarnia that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has passed legislation from the last budget to bail out insolvent banks.

Now, if your bank crashes the depositor’s accounts, assets, stocks, etc., can be taxed to prop up the bank.

It’s like what happened in Greece, where the banks were closed and through a “bail-in” up to 50% of the depositors’ assets were taken.

Pat Davidson, the representative of Sarnia-Lambton, working on your behalf, thinks it’s a good idea to protect banks over the savings of her neighbours. It’s because of representative MPs like Pat that I stopped voting.

I don’t want to repair the current banking system I want it replaced.

Peter Tomkins

Point Edward