Ads are a sign of declining democracy
Sir: Given the millions of years human beings have occupied earth, democracy is a very recent and truly remarkable achievement, hardly beyond its infancy.
How regrettable that already the application of its vision for human rights and human dignity has been crushed in political processes that seem to reflect only the very worst of our human nature.
There are those who seek to lead our country and build our vision for a fair and equitable society by spending millions of dollars to win our trust.
Millions of dollars used in ads to mock a man’s hair. Millions of dollars used to suggest that he supports the horrific beheading of other human beings because he will not submit to the perspectives of those who demean him.
Surely it is time for every citizen to deliver the message to every party and every candidate that we demand dignity above denigration, principles above expedience, and policy statements above smear campaigns.
Can we possibly entrust our country and our futures to anyone who would ignore our request, and instead continue with a toxicity that destroys all trust … for the sake of winning at all costs?
To maintain any vestige of democracy’s essence, every individual citizen must demand conduct that is principled, communication that is substantive, and civility that truly reflects the dignity of democracy’s spirit.
It is my fervent hope that this coming election process will see all of us seek the rebirth of respect within our political process for the values that have made Canada great.
Our community, our country, and our humanity deserve no less.
Hockey no more at Germain Arena
Sir: The end of an era passed quietly recently, with very little notice, pomp or circumstance.
After 41 years of activity, Germain Arena has seen it’s last hockey game, as it is being taken out of service. Personally, I will miss playing there on Tuesday nights with the guys, as I have been doing for nearly 20 years. And I know it has been a staple for 3-on-3 hockey as well as girl’s hockey.
The final game was played at 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 19th. There were no fans to cheer on the athletes, and probably very few people except the players and the Zamboni driver knew the last game was being played. But for those of us who were there it was a momentous occasion that will be remembered and passed down in stories over the years. We will be able to say we played the last game of hockey at Germain Arena.
And for Hunter Adamson, he has the distinction of scoring the last ever goal at Germain. Not a huge claim to fame, perhaps, but he is the one and only who owns that honour.
I am sure the arena will be missed by many. I would bet that there are lots of great memories of goals scored and friends made under that roof.
So as we bid farewell to a Sarnia site that serviced so many, one small group of us will carry on the memory of that last game.
Centennial Park design should be flexible
Sir: Centennial Park is the ‘crown jewel’ of Sarnia’s waterfront, host to a plethora of events and activities year round. It is imperative that any revitalization effort would take this into consideration to build in the most flexibility possible.
With a few simple, cost-effective enhancements, the usability of the park can be dramatically increased for all members of the community.
For as long as I’ve lived in Sarnia, Centennial Park has been unassuming – a quaint park that doesn’t hurt the eyes but provides so many options. An optimal solution would be to embrace this ideal, yet provide certain enhancements so that our park is timeless without being gaudy, functional without being tasteless, and charming without being high maintenance.
I believe that the centrepiece of Centennial Park should be an entertainment venue. This venue should have built-in flexibility that accommodates small local acts much like the Dow People Place, yet also be able to play host to larger acts utilizing the hills and great lawn of Centennial Park as a ‘natural’ amphitheatre.
Having attended a number of the public consultations for the park, there is no shortage of ideas. I am glad to see that so many people believe in the value that trails and pathways, gardens and trees, and the great lawn bring – not just to the park – but also to the riverfront and community as a whole.
There is no need to empty our wallets to make the park something to be proud of. Picnic tables should be in amongst the shrubbery. Provide the infrastructure for a future boardwalk, pedestrian pier and boat launch. Gazebos or pavilions would not be unwelcome, but keep the obtrusive structures – the eyesores and exercises of self-aggrandizement – out of the park.
We have a wonderful opportunity here – a blank canvas with which to create a place we can showcase again.
Assisted suicide leads to devalued life
Sir: Re: assisted suicide and euthanasia
It’s very disturbing how the Supreme Court of Canada has once again usurped Parliament’s role of making laws, this time in striking down Canada’s laws against assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Even more disturbing is what that action means for all the most vulnerable in our society: the disabled, the chronically ill, the elderly, even children and infants.
There can be no doubt in anybody’s mind that, if Parliament cannot assert its role through the Notwithstanding Clause to give Canadians continued protection against assisted suicide and euthanasia, an increasing devaluation of human life will take place in our society, so that more and more vulnerable people will find themselves having to justify their existence – something nobody should have to do.