Are county councillors victims of ‘stupid gas?
Sir: Many of us have seen those old Batman episodes from the 1960’s TV series where the Commissioner, his police officers and even Batman and Robin get flummoxed by the Joker or the Riddler. After unleashing a noxious gas that renders the protagonists “stupid,” the good guys become unaware and unable to handle the madness and mayhem going on around them.
I mention this in context of what’s happening at Lambton County Council. At this month’s meeting, another motion by Coun. Bird to address constituent concerns about the county’s long-term care homes was thwarted by a group of unwitting councillors.
I’ve watched this rerun in disbelief since last October, and I’m convinced their actions are because of something floating in the air around council chambers.
How else does one account for councillors voting against motions that would benefit our most vulnerable citizens, even though some members publicly declared a conflict of interest?
I’m sure they all went through Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest training. Surely, some mechanism provides oversight to prevent this?
Furthermore, something seems to be affecting their memories. When advised during the March 4 meeting that an audit would cost $350,000, I was amazed no follow-up pointed out $250,000 was cited at the Nov. 27, 2019 meeting.
This latter figure should have been reinforced by the memory of reading in the Long-Term Care Division Report, submitted for that meeting, that the cost was “between $175,000 to $250,000.”
And why was there even a discussion on costs when the Notice of Motion specifically stated the security audit was to be carried out by the Ministry of Long-Term Care?
When the discussion got around to the current state of county homes, especially following the unauthorized intruder events in November and December, councillors were assured all is fine.
Funny, I wonder what one would call the recent ministry inspections at Marshall Gowland Manor resulting in Written Notification and Compliance Orders? Social visits?
There must be something that makes many county councillors temporarily oblivious and detached from the sensible people they are.
I blame it on the stupid gas!
Trans women in female sports unfair
Sir: In 2017, Bill C-16 added gender expression and gender identity as protected grounds of discrimination to the Canadian Human Rights Act and also to the Criminal Code.
The ramifications are significant. Now men who identify as women (trans women) are gaining access to women’s rape centers, homeless shelters, change rooms and prisons, with no need for surgical treatment, hormone therapy or medical documentation of any kind. Self-identification is sufficient.
Women’s sports are also impacted. Since Bill C-16, athletic associations across the country are required to support athlete participation based on gender identity in compliance with the bill. This includes high school athletic associations like OFSAA, the university athletic association U Sports, the Canada Games as well as amateur athletic associations like Softball Canada.
Men who identify as women are able to play women’s sports on the basis of self-ID alone.
The backlash is underway, not only here but across the world. Three high school girls in Connecticut recently filed a federal lawsuit saying they were denied equal access to sports by their school’s transgender policy.
Since 2017 in that state, two biological males have taken home twelve women’s state championship titles and denied the girls a total of 85 opportunities to participate in higher-level competition.
The website boysvswomen.com shows how even the fastest and strongest women in the world can’t compete against high school boys.
Boys as young as 14 have beaten female Olympic athlete world records. The girls have reason to be discouraged.
Transgender people have the right to participate fully in society — and that includes in sport, but not at women’s expense.
We women have the right to fair play and protection from undue risk of injury. A man who identifies as a woman remains a man in body.
On average, trans women are bigger and stronger. They have different bones, greater muscle mass, different muscle fibre types, larger hearts, decreased body fat and increased lung capacity.
No matter how hard a woman trains the new rules rig the game against her. Something needs to change.
City plan to create dog-friendly beach is animal crackers
Sir: Regarding City Hall’s plan to designate a beach for dogs in Sarnia.
For many years now farm animals — bovine, porcine, equine, et al. — have been restricted from accessing flood plain lands within the high water mark of streams and waterways draining into the Great Lakes, to protect the purity of the water supply of millions.
Our local beaches have been closed to swimming over the years when these measures weren’t followed.
I cannot envision dogs gamboling and frolicking in my drinking water.
No dog park should be permitted within the high water mark, with its consequent detritus just waiting for the next big storm to clear the beach and wash into our water supply.
This is especially important with Canatara beach less than a mile upstream from our water supply intake.
Another homeowners irked by insurer
Sir: John Parker’s letter of March 5, “Homeowner irked by insurance hike,” prompted me to review my mother’s home and auto policy, due for renewal on April 6.
I was shocked to discover her home insurance rate had been increased by 52%. My mother is 81 years old, has lived in the same Sarnia house 48 years, was widowed five years ago, and lives on a fixed income. We both assumed it was a clerical error.
After three separate calls to the insurance company on her behalf to determine what prompted this substantial rate increase, I was given three different reasons.
Basically, no one could give us a clear, concrete answer. Eventually, they settled on blaming the spelling of her name on a credit rating check. We called the bank to determine her credit score, and, to no surprise, her credit rating is excellent.
After much discussion with the Insurance company, I am happy to say her home insurance was lowered to a more reasonably and affordable rate.
Bottom line: check your insurance rates and ask questions. You have a right to know why when they increase rates.
Helena de Vries–Renwick
More men needed to work in early childhood education field
Sir: My name is Jayden Aylward and I am a second year student in the Early Childhood Education program at Lambton College.
I am writing to address the lack of men in the field of ECE, and why we should be encouraging it as an option for young men.
As a male working to become an ECE, I experience the gender gap on a daily basis. If we make the issue known and address it, maybe more men would get into the field.
The statistics are staggering. According to the College of Early Childhood Educators, only 1.4% of registered ECE’s are men.
This is such a huge gap, and it’s even apparent in the current graduating class at Lambton, where there are only six men in a class of 38.
According to many researchers, the main reasons are wages and stereotypes that can follow a male in a caregiving position.
Men feel they won’t make enough money to support a household because the wages paid to an ECE position are not very high.
Also, the fear of accusations as being a predator can follow a male in the profession, which is very unfair and wrong.
We as a society should be working to address both of these problems. Male educators bring a different perspective to the profession, and can providing a male role model for children who may not have one at home.
This letter’s purpose is to encourage men to know that ECE is a very possible and important route to take.
Having information about what the program can provide men could open minds to a future doing something they love while getting over the stereotypes.
Conservatives should support CHP
Sir: Various social conservative groups are sending out a clarion call to Christians and others of the Judeo-Christian bent (the Right) to join the Tory party as it searches for the next federal Conservative Party leader.
And that’s fine. We on the Right should support a social conservative to head the Conservatives.
Meanwhile, though, the Christian Heritage Party is seen as unelectable, which is a lie the Right sold and brought onto themselves.
It seems to me one reason the CHP is unknown is the lack of publicity, mainly due to the secular leftist media’s refusal to publish on the CHP.
Nevertheless, that shouldn’t stop the Right from being their own media — to broadcast, to advertise in newsletters, periodicals, church use of bulletins, etc.
That may just be enough. As someone told me, if the CHP just got all the Christian votes they would be the ruling party today.
When it comes to a general election, it’s best to support and vote CHP.
Harry De Boer