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Letters: week of April 5

Published on

A woman’s right to an abortion protected by Charter of Rights

Sir: Canada’s Bill of Rights (1960) was updated by the Charter (1982) to entrench Canada’s Constitution to protect fundamental rights and freedoms from government intrusion like the imposition of religious chauvinism.

Far from ‘truncating our legal system’ the Charter gave our courts more responsibility.

Some people deride the Charter, preferring government intrusion forcing women to have abortions. That issue in Canada was settled 30 years ago.

Justice Bertha Wilson said the Charter protects a woman’s right (s.7) to an abortion and ‘men are incapable of understanding the dilemma women face and can only relate to a women’s decision to have an abortion “by objectifying it.”’

For those words, Justice Wilson was attacked by an anti-women’s rights lobby group that filed a complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council calling for her removal from office. The charges were thrown out.

Over 90% of abortions occur in the first trimester, less than 3% after 16 weeks. No abortions occur past 20 or 21 weeks unless the fetus is gravely impaired or the woman’s life or physical health is at risk, or both. (Canadian Institute for Health Information: 2015).

Some would prefer to endanger women’s lives by forcing them to give birth even in these rare instances. Barely .005% of abortion in Canada occurs after 21 weeks.

There is no evidence human rights are ‘theologically based.’ Long before human language developed enough to spread such myths, human social structures had rights and values like family, clan, and tribe.

Anthropological research shows human societies have similar basic standards of moral conduct whether religious or not. Human morality related to human rights predates any existing religion and is thereby independent of it.

Canada’s Charter of Rights is under attack from those who prefer an ecclesiastic law-code. Saying the Charter ‘demands child sacrifice’ is code for trampling on women’s rights.

Canada is a secular nation; our laws and governance aren’t based on Christian anything and its institutions do not have to cater to religious organizations in any way.

Most Canadians oppose pious religious representatives exploiting the Charter for all the wrong reasons.

Stanton Earle
Sarnia


 

A couple of points about that In Memoriam to WW1 soldier

Sir: I noticed the March 22 “In Memoriam” and picture of A/Sgt. Len Spurr, who died at age 21 on March 22, 1918.

He was in the 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, so I presume he was British.

It says he was killed in action in France and Flanders and his remains were never recovered. Flanders is in Belgium and France is another country. Belgium is about as big as Lambton County and close by France.

He died in the final months of the war, which ended that year on Nov. 11.

My point is that nobody won the war. They declared an “Armistice.” The Allies and the Germans concluded neither side could win so they declared an Armistice signed at the Palace of Versailles. All old history books state that.

My second point: Sarnia’s Wilma McNeill wants Nov. 11 declared a Holiday. It should not be described as a Holiday. It is a Remembrance Day, a day to remember the death, suffering, loss, cost and tears of the war years. Lest we forget.

A holiday is a celebration time – cakes and candles, gifts, hugs, good food, etc.

Both my parents came from Belgium, from East Flanders, where Flanders Fields is located and the Waterloo Monument, where Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated. Both my parents were born in 1901. My dad was too young to enlist but he enlisted anyway.

He was in the Belgium Air Force, as I remember, but his job was as a courier carrying military messages on a motorcycle with a sidecar.

When the Belgians surrendered, the Germans told him he was a cobbler and to fix the boots of the German troops. They had a choice – work for the Germans or be shot.

War was hard on the Belgian people. My dad was wounded in the fray and took shrapnel in the legs, leaving pitted holes in his skin.

Getting back to the memorial to A/Sgt. Spurr. Even 100 years later he is still remembered and loved. What a testimony to a life well-lived, well-served.

F. Guymer
Sarnia


 

Alternative uses for SCITS should be explored

Sir: I read with great interest in the March 22 issue the proposal made by Bob McCarthy regarding alternate uses for the former SCITS building and property.

This is a very sensible solution – the best idea for the property that I have heard yet. It certainly should be explored by the city.

These old buildings have usually been built far better than the new ones. It has a lot of pluses and it would be a crime to tear it down.

 

Lorna Pominville
Sarnia


 

Spend our money where it’s needed, not on public Wi-Fi

Sir: The idea of having free Wi-Fi in downtown core is completely unnecessary and too expensive.

There are things Sarnia actually needs money for, and to have the taxpayer foot the bill for Wi-Fi is not one of them.

Naturally, the Internet companies would love to sell it and will give the city all kinds of reasons why it’s needed. But let’s face it; if a person is serious about Internet then they already have cellular services.

There are lots of things that would be nice to have in Sarnia, but REALLY this is not one of them.

Give your head a shake council.

Sharon Stewart
Sarnia

 

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