Kudos to The Journal for Remembrance edition
Sir: I was deeply moved when I became the shared-reader of your Nov. 11, 2020 Sarnia Journal.
This is how it happened. Years ago we lived in Sarnia and made many good and lasting friends in your city. In November, one of these dear friends called and told me about your paper.
She had read the Sarnia Remembers edition, thought I might want to read the stories, and sent me their copy.
(Because I too was born in Holland, though just a toddler when the war started, I do remember the latter years well. We hid a young Jewish boy in our home. My parents knew full well they would be, if discovered, sent straight to the concentration camp).
But God …
As I read your paper from cover to cover, I marvelled at how sensitively and passionately the issue had been put together.
Every page had a heart-wrenching story to tell of Sarnia men, women, boys, and the horrors of war. Every page seemed to shout: “Listen and remember folks, these people were part of us! They lived on our Sarnia streets. Half never returned home. May We Never Forget!”
Every city and town has such stories, yet so many are never told. You found them and put them in print. I received a copy and was thankful, indeed. I commend the two Toms, Randy, Gary, Phil and Kristina for a job well done, and for their stories about 15- year-olds, young fathers, and ambitious and adventurous sons. None realized what awaited them.
Less We Forget.
Those endless rows of white crosses in designated cemeteries cannot write stories. Only people can. Painfully, skillfully, you did that in your Nov. 11, 2020 issue.
Congratulations on a job well done! I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
More to living than the high cost of dying
Sir: Kudos to Mary Mitro for her Nov. 12 letter defending natural death, as opposed to assisted suicide.
As we seniors age it may become easier to convince us, due to circumstances beyond our control, to choose assisted death.
Our government is very aware of the enormous amount of money to be saved if more of us choose it.
Bill C7 broadens the options for us to choose assisted death, thereby saving more money in the future.
Why are family doctor offices still not seeing patients?
Sir: Why are family physicians office still largely closed to their patients?
Dentists are open regular hours, audiologists are open regular hours, and optometrists are open regular hours. Why not GP’s? Are they compensated differently?
If we are going to go with Telehealth, then let’s say that and set it up already. Zoom a meeting with a doctor somewhere in the world, describe your symptoms, show cuts, bruising etc., and get the prescription.
Never set foot in a GP’s office again.
People need to show our wildlife more respect
Sir: It is sad to watch what is happening to our shorebirds.
Recently I found a dead gull that washed up at Sarnia Bay, and a goose and a duck earlier this year.
I also saw a gull go for the bait that a fisherman cast out and got the hook in its mouth in mid-air. It panicked and tried to get away, painfully. The man was laughing but did cut the line.
The bird was rescued by professionals and hadn’t swallowed the hook. I got to release the bird a few days later. Lucky bird.
A few days ago a beautiful female red merganser was found at Canatara Park, alive but injured on the shore. When they X-rayed her, she had three gun pellets in her, two broken wings and a broken leg.
The hunters may not have been aware they’d shot and injured her, but she was left to suffer a slow, terrible death. It couldn’t be saved so the rescuers euthanized her.
Also, people shouldn’t feed bread to the ducks and geese. They can get sick, obese and too weak to feed themselves. They can also get a diet-related disease called ‘angel wing,’ which causes their feathers to twist so they can’t fly.
Birds need us and we need them. I understand fishermen, boaters and hunters are conscientious and try to do the right thing, but we need to be more aware of the creatures around us, and the impact we have.
People may say, “What are a few dead birds? There are thousands.” But there were once millions of passenger pigeons. They were shot for food and killed as pests and became extinct in 1914.
Today, every life counts.
Let’s banish the gloom and light our city this Christmas
Sir: Nothing to do during COVID-19? Boring isn’t it?
The solution is for local residents to dig their Christmas lights out of storage and make this Christmas bright and cheery.
It doesn’t have to be a marvelous display. One or two strings on a tree or bush would make a big difference. Can you imagine a full street of lights?
Let’s make the city worthy of a tour and make us proud!
Shopping local great way to support our community
Sir: I wish to thank all the different organizations that are promoting “shop local.”
During these difficult times, having our community partners support independent businesses is appreciated.
I am also grateful to the people of Sarnia-Lambton who are making the conscious decision to shop at locally owned businesses.
Daily I hear things like: “This year I am keeping my dollars local.” “I am buying everything local.” “I am shopping early and local.”
And my favourite, “I want you to be here when COVID is over.”
Thank you, thank you, thank you Sarnia-Lambton. You rock!
Helen E. Van Sligtenhorst,
Owner, Harbour Bay Clothing and Gifts
Ford putting profit over senior care
Sir: At his Nov. 16 COVID-19 news conference, Premier Doug Ford expressed concern for the residents of long-term care facilities and discussed further potential restrictions on visitors.
We all remember the horror stories from earlier this year and don’t want a repeat of those deaths. However, later that same day at Queen’s Park the Premier and his government passed Bill 218.
Bill 218 provides broad protection to individuals, corporations and other entities, including the Ontario government, from COVID-19 exposure-related lawsuits resulting from negligence. As a result of this legislation, long-term care facilities will only be held responsible in the case of “gross negligence,” a standard of neglect much more extreme and difficult to prove. To rub salt into the wounds, the legislation backdates this lowered standard of care to March 17, 2020.
So far, almost two thirds of COVID-19 deaths in Ontario have occurred in long-term care facilities. Clearly, these facilities require higher standards of care to reduce suffering and deaths. Instead of lowering standards, the government should have set the bar higher, and offered help to those facilities that need it.
This shouldn’t be about money, it should be about care.
Families that lost loved ones earlier this year are feeling abandoned by our government, which seems to put profits ahead of people. Some are vowing to continue their search for justice through the courts. Others are questioning the government’s motives and pursuing a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner, claiming the Premier and others have close ties with, and have received political donations from, the for-profit long-term care industry.
While those claims have yet to be investigated, when the Ford government rushed this legislation into law, it’s hard to see how it benefited anyone but care-home owners and operators.
Peter R Smith