Letters: week of Dec. 10

Lamenting the loss of a threatened and unloved woodlot

Sir: Regarding the Sept. 15 article, ‘Hundreds of new homes proposed for The Point.’

It looks like the end is near for a little piece of wilderness at the end of Exmouth Street. Lambton County has not designated it as a protected woodlot, and the Village of Point Edward Council has voted unanimously not to give it protected status.

According to the arbourist hired by the developer, “the vegetation is primarily a monoculture of poplar trees and invasive phragmites” and “offers little value as a shelter or food source for birds and small animals.”

Rather than having a look for themselves, councillors took his word for it.

Yes, there is a lot of poplar and phragmites along the canal banks, the result of dredging and dumping by previous developers over the years.

But if you walk into the woodlot, you find very different vegetation: horsetail and dogwood in the understory, and red and bur oak replacing the poplar, with willows growing around the ponds.

Is it a special remnant of Carolinian forest? No. But it is a remnant of wilderness that has miraculously survived for as long as I can remember (60 years), and I’m sure there are people who can remember it for longer than that.

Hopefully, this property will receive a proper assessment by qualified experts, like the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, before any rezoning or development takes place.

Is it even suitable for development, given its wetland designation and the industrial use across the street?

For me, this is a special place that deserves to be protected, but with municipal councils hell-bent on development at any cost, that’s not likely to happen. I suggest people explore it while they still can, and enjoy the wildness of it – just make sure to wear your rubber boots!

Don’t forget what Joni Mitchell said – you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone!

 

Gerry Bukovinsky
Hamilton, Ont.

 


 

Replacing Michigan section of Line 5 would be good for everyone

Sir: Regarding the Dec. 3 story about Michigan threatening to shut down the Line 5 pipeline.

There is no denying the pipeline where it crosses the Straits of Mackinac needs replacing, regardless of economy.

Investigations have clearly shown it is unfit to remain active much longer, if at all. Any rational person understands maintenance is needed.

We are not the only community that depends on Line 5; the whole Great Lakes community does. We depend on it for our paycheques, and we all depend on it not to rupture.

If we had an oil spill, of any proportion, the effects would be surreal. I think we all agree the Lakes should be cherished. Sarnia’s Identity coincides with our relationship to its beaches and rivers and wildlife.

What is the problem with the proposed plan, which would see Enbridge drill a tunnel beneath the Strait and replace that section of pipeline, separating it from the water?

If the pipeline shuts down, our plants shut down, so do the maintenance that is so desperately needed.

 

Joshua Tracey
Sarnia

 


 

Agrees with comments on graffiti, dying with dignity

Sir: I am writing with regard to two recent letters published on Nov. 26.

My first comment is about the letter from Joshua Waters on graffiti. I agree with his statement: “Why not harness the creative power of local artists to transform blight into beauty?”

I watched a young lady work for several days to create a beautiful portrait of a woman on the concrete of the skateboard park on Maxwell Street. Within days it was defaced. Why? What is wrong with these people who seem to need to destroy something beautiful?

Also, in the same edition was a letter from Norman Barney about Medical Assistance in Dying.

I definitely agree with Mr. Barney — if a person chooses MAID it is his or her choice and no one else’s.

The ‘sin,’ if it is considered a sin, rests with the person making the decision to choose MAID, and it is no one else’s business. Yours truly,

 

M.J. Turnbull
Sarnia