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Letters: week of Aug. 13

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Where was the Canadian border security for birthday float-by?

Sir: Regarding the July 16 story, “Birthday gal gets surprise ‘float-by’ from U.S. family.

What a nice heart-warming 80th birthday greeting for Patricia Greenwood of Sarnia.

However, I cannot imagine I am the only reader that reacted with disgust that a boatload of Americans crossed the international boundary illegally, given the fact the border remains closed due to COVID-19.

Where was Border Security?

Why were the Police not called by anyone who may have witnessed the event?

If the reverse had happened, I suggest our citizens would have been promptly scooped up by the Department for Homeland Security and whisked off to some U.S. gulag.

Do not misunderstand; I am happy for Ms. Greenwood. But there remains a difference between what is right and what is illegal. Thank you

John Hollinger
Point Edward



Coun. Bird took her face mask “facts” from debunked Facebook post

Sir: On July 27th Sarnia council called a meeting to pass a mandatory face-mask bylaw. Councillor Margaret Bird, who voted against the bylaw, proclaimed she wanted to “focus on only the facts and not personal opinions.”

I think this fell apart when she repeatedly read information from a debunked and garbage Facebook post (June 1 by DW Blackstone), later taken down by Facebook and labelled mostly false.

Some of her comments, which were at times verbatim from the Facebook post, included:

“[N95 masks] are designed for CONTAMINATED environments…you exhale into contamination… and yes possibly COVID-19 viral particles are released unfiltered… N95 mask blows the virus into the air…” Surgical masks “will not filter the virus upon inhaling. It’s filtration works on the exhale, like a vacuum bag, one way only, but lightly stops after only 20 minutes rendering it totally useless outside of a sterile environment.” Cloth masks do not “offer any filtering whatsoever,” the carbon dioxide you exhale gets trapped in the mask endangering one’s health, a cloth mask is worse than none at all, “the CDC wants us to keep wearing masks. The masks don’t work.”

Facebook debunked the post because: mask-wearing does not cause serious health effects; cloth and surgical masks are unlikely to cause a dangerous drop in oxygen intake and help keep others safe, and its claims about N95 mask safety were false.

Coun. Bird stated she gets her medical research from Stanford University and MIT. Their sites state: “Scientists say we should wear masks to control the spread of COVID-19. (Stanford);” “Make your own mask, (and wear it!)” (MIT).

I do agree with Coun. Bird about educating the public. As Canadians, we could start with the Government of Canada website: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/about-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html Great resources there. Perhaps Ms. Bird could spearhead this action.

Coun. Bird was praised by some listening for her research and bringing the “real” facts forward. Since she didn’t appear to get her information from accredited sources, I believe she should post a retraction, admit she used information taken from a debunked Facebook post, and post this on the City of Sarnia Facebook page. Respectfully,

Jean Mantha



Why are people who wear masks so dismissive of others?

Sir: I am extremely disappointed in the people of Sarnia.

I thought we had a strong community that understood and respected each other. I thought my neighbours respected my freedom of expression and association.

I get a little sad when I see people being hostile and cynical about another’s beliefs or avoid coming near me at all costs, even if it’s a walk past on the sidewalk. My grandparents would be ashamed.

I am well aware that “the science proves” masks work. I am also well aware of the fragility of people who are compromised.

But the thing that really fascinates me is the reaction to alternative opinions, and the swift dismissal.

Ignorance is running rampant, in our community and across the globe. I would bet most people haven’t read a single factual, scientific report on the effectiveness of face masks.

Don’t forget, our Chief Medical Officer of Health apparently knows nothing, while Sarnia’s Mayor believes his feelings are worth more than the recommendation of a seasoned doctor. Is this ignorance? Thirst for more control?

It’s ironic to see masks littering the sidewalks. If the wearers are so considerate of others, why do I see littered masks and gloves? Is this really what our new normal looks like?

Homemade, non-medical masks are what the soldiers in WWI used against chlorine gas, and we know how that ended.


Joshua Tracey




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