In praise of free speech, religious protection
Sir: Regarding the Oct. 22 story about Dr. Chantal Perrot, medically assisted death, and the subsequent letters. I would like to add my thoughts.
First and foremost, I’m VERY thankful to live in Canada where we have freedom of religion, and therefore diversity.
Letter writer Mary Mitro stated God should decide our death. She has her own religious beliefs, and I won’t argue or diminish them.
But my own non-religious beliefs are equally valid. I support medically assisted death, and plan to go that way if my health deteriorates to an extent that (to me) warrants it.
Dr. Perrot is a blessing to those who want to end extreme suffering.
As for the legislation being scary, I’ve no tolerance for unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, but it is a good idea for Canadians to fully understand the legislation.
Letter writer Marie-Paule Wilkinson stated Christians have been walking around Bluewater Health since Sept. 23 pleading respect for all human life.
She is free to live her life by her Christian beliefs. That is her right. I won’t interfere, demean, or criticize.
But the hospital belongs to all of us. It’s a place where important work is done for all people of all beliefs. Protest is more appropriately done in front of City Hall, or by writing to politicians, or (and isn’t this awesome!) by sending a letter to The Journal.
In Canada, we can write about our various beliefs and they’ll be published with our names and we can do so without fear of reprisal. Because Canada allows us to be whomever we choose, as long as we don’t break the law.
If we disagree with a law, we have the right to legally protest it and we have democratic elections to express our preferences.
But please don’t protest or preach at our public hospital. Do so in appropriate settings.
Calendars no replacement for rum shots in the back room
Sir: I am 85 and grew up in a small neighbourhood grocery store in Sydney, Nova Scotia, a ‘Mom and Pop’ store they would call it today.
You could get everything from a pound of butter to a package of cigarettes (33 cents plus 2 cents tax). Cookies were sold by the pound and if they weighed over that amount, it would take dear Mrs. Hanson five minutes to decide which two should go back in the box with the others.
Christmas Eve was especially busy and we stayed open later as there was always someone who needed something at the last minute.
Every man was invited to the “back room” where they had a drink of rum, and the ladies received Moirs Pot of Gold chocolates.
One year, a salesman talked my father into giving out calendars instead of the usual “treats.” Well, needless to say, that didn’t go over very well and I do believe business declined in January.
The following Christmas things returned to normal, the men got their shot glass of rum and the ladies had their chocolates.
Everyone was happy, and you know, we never saw that calendar salesman again.
Concern for lakes not ‘fringe’ activism
Sir: I am responding to the Dec. 3 story about the letter Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley sent to Michigan Governor Whitmer.
I appreciate the mayor’s concern for our town and also for the 5,000 petrochemical workers. Canadian employment needs to be protected.
However, accusing Governor Whitmer of subscribing to ‘fringe activists looking to advance a political agenda’ is disrespectful and puzzling, and adds something of the lowest common denominator to the conversation.
Does the mayor believe that environmental ruin is a fringe topic? Our grandchildren surely don’t. Neither do the 40 million people who use the Great Lakes for drinking water and tourism. Neither do we grandparents.
Or, does the mayor think it appropriate to adopt the vitriolic language that defines U.S. politics at the moment?
Perhaps the Mayor will get a response from Whitmer and share it with everyone.
Crack down on speeders, noisy cars
Sir: The city has made “Slow Down” signs available in an effort to get drivers to be more responsible.
Finally, a major problem with speeding cars and trucks has been recognized, especially in the Wellington Street and Russell Street corridors.
Streets are narrower in the older section of the city and houses closer to the road, making for a dangerous situation.
In some areas speed limits have been reduced, but drivers have collided, left the road and actually hit houses. Imagine what would happen if children had been out playing or riding bikes.
The noise bylaw is also being ignored. It states that all citizens have the right to expect the quiet enjoyment of their homes. But that right is violated 24/7 by cars and trucks with enhances exhaust systems designed to annoy and intimidate as many people as possible.
In nice weather it’s difficult to sit outside and enjoy a front porch or deck when these inconsiderate individuals race up and down the street. Surely, the noise bylaw applies to these vehicles as well.
As for speeders, why not consider installing photo radar at specific points, along with solar powered streets signs that flash, “My speed is?”
Who are we kidding? The ‘Slow Down’ signs will be ignored because no penalty is involved.
Come on people. Stand up for your rights and contact the mayor and councillors about these matters, which are for the benefit of the entire community.
St. Pat’s students put new twist on this year’s Irish Miracle
Sir: For many years, the St. Patrick’s High School Irish Miracle has provided non-perishable food to feed those in need in our city. Through the giving spirit and tireless energy of the students the food drive has flourished.
The generous nature of the people of Sarnia-Lambton has also never failed to come through with too-numerous-to-count kilograms of non-perishable foods.
The food collected supports the St. Vincent de Paul, which gives out 800 to 1,000 Christmas Hampers each year. The Irish Miracle also provides three to four months worth of food for the St. Vincent de Paul food bank.
But this year, it’s different. Due to COVID-19, it’s not possible or safe to collect and sort food and then deliver the hampers. So, with the need even greater this year, the Irish Miracle has become a fundraiser to support our new, safe way of helping those in need.
St. Vincent de Paul will provide each person requesting a Christmas Hamper with grocery gift cards. As well, we will provide a gift card for all children of parents requesting a hamper.
Any money left over will be put aside to purchase food for the food bank and sustain individuals who visit from January to April.
Student, St. Patrick’s High School
Kudos, folks, for making the Celebration of Lights happen
Sir: On behalf of the community I would like to thank all the volunteers and financial donors for their effort in making the Celebration of Lights in Centennial Park fantastic.
Of all years, this year, we need extra Christmas spirit, and with spirit comes hope.
Seen through the eyes of a child, the world sparkles and comes to life, erasing all the not-so-nice.
And the best part is everyone young and old can enjoy the beauty, following restrictions and walking through, or just by driving by. Many thanks.
Local residents ensuring a bright end for this dark year
Sir: My Mom, my husband and I had a lovely tour through Sarnia’s Christmas Parade celebration at Lambton College on Dec. 5. Thank you all, for everything you did to make this event so special for us.
As usual, we took Mom to see all the lights around Sarnia, and wow, everything is so BRIGHT this year. It makes up for our not-so-nice year. Thanks to all helping bring a renewed happy spirit here.
We then travelled through Point Edward and it was so nice to see the lights in the village.
Which brings me to downtown Sarnia. It’s the saddest area ever. No lights from the city, not even streetlight ornaments.
The great business owners have really tried to make it welcoming, and City Hall does have its regular tree set up and decorated.
But we could attract more businesses and people if City Hall took pride in downtown Sarnia. I have more comments, but don’t want to taint this one with negativism.
Wishing everyone a blessed, happy, healthy Christmas season. With regards,
Margaret Banovsky Holmes