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Letters: week of Jan. 18

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Pedestrian safety

Sir: In Sarnia there are many urban areas where sidewalks and or footpaths are non-existent. This poses a potential threat to life whether just walking with a baby stroller, dog, running, or just taking exercise with a brisk walk. This risk is greatly increased at dusk and beyond.

The police constantly reiterate the need for individuals participating in the above activities to have the commonsense to face oncoming traffic at all times and additionally in poor light to have some form of high visibility clothing and a flashlight.

In my neighbourhood, hardly anyone observes any of these sensible requirements for safe passage and at night almost all are wearing dark clothing with no flashlight.

It is time for pedestrians to be more aware, assess the risks involved and to take the appropriate actions to safeguard drivers and themselves. Have a safe and healthy 2018.


Peter Clarke



Why doesn’t council put deputy mayor issue on the ballot?


Sir: Re: the appointment of a deputy mayor in Sarnia. Councillors Gillis, Scholten, MacDougall and White were members of a committee that made recent recommendations included in a proposed procedural bylaw under Budget Item M.

I wonder if the media or any councillors noticed, as it was tucked away between budgetary matters.

Coun. Gillis was on the committee that recommended the creation of a deputy mayor, yet subsequently moved to postpone its implementation. Was it because of public opposition?

After all, the municipal election is this year.  She was quoted as saying, “I’ve said in the past when there’s been anything major done to council, they’ve always put it to the next council.”

Why, then, wasn’t the same done with the creation of a deputy mayor?

She stated that when the integrity commissioner’s 2016 report came out, “We were looking at a situation that we had never encountered before and, if there were criminal charges that were going to be laid, we had to have something in place.”

Was there ever any indication ‘criminal charges’ would be laid?  Or was she suggesting something that never happened? Should the integrity commissioner be looking at her remarks?

Gillis admits ‘the sense of urgency has passed.’ So why don’t they simply put the deputy mayor issue on the ballot?

This procedural bylaw would give the city clerk more power to determine who is eligible to speak at council meetings. Good grief! Aren’t there more than enough obstacles already?

Lambton Shores passed a similar policy that gave the clerk the power to determine who is ‘an unreasonable customer’ and deny access.

These unacceptable restrictions were proposed by the clerk, Nancy Wright-Laking, who left Sarnia to join Lambton Shores.

These ‘customers’ are taxpayers, with every right to speak to municipal staff and council when needed.

Many unacceptable, even unbelievable, changes have occurred at Sarnia City Hall recently, and increased automation will make the atmosphere even less welcoming.

As a former Sarnia alderman, I find what’s happening there disturbing. Hopefully, the election will change things for the better.


Bernice Rade

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