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Letters: week of May 31

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Boater seeing red over fee increase to use city’s new boat launch

Sir: The infamous Centennial Park project saw the restoration of the park, the removal of the existing boat launch, and the construction of a new boat launch at a cost of over $13 million from Sarnia taxpayers.

In 2017, no public launch was available for boaters to use. So Bridgeview Marina “stepped up” – because someone had to do it – and allowed the public to use its private launch at no charge for the season.

The City of Sarnia spent $7,000 building Bridgeview Marina a new dock to accommodate the coming and going of boats.

Now, in 2018, I find out the new Sarnia Bay boat launch is operated by Bridgeview Marina.

My seven-day senior launch pass, which cost me $94 in 2016, now costs $118.65, an increase of about 21%.

Why? For what? How did this come to be? This huge price hike will just discourage people from boating.

Everyone can use Centennial Park free of charge, but boat users have no choice but to use the new launch and pay an exorbitant fee for doing so.

This is not right. Something must be done by the City of Sarnia.

Steve Anderson


Some of Canatara Park’s amenities suffering from neglect


Sir: Like many people, I love going to Canatara Park, especially now that the warmer weather is here.

Watching the trees become full and the park turn bright green with lush grass is something I never tire of, and my young boys love it too.

Warmer weather means more trips to the Animal Farm, the Canatara Choo-choo and to the play equipment.

But on our last trip I realized some things really need some attention, starting with the roadway itself.

There are more pothole-fills in some of the curves than there is of actual road. Why has it been left so long, and when will it be fixed? It’s shameful.

The play equipment in the park’s west end is great and loved by many, but the state of it is really saddening.

Paint has been peeling for what looks like years now, with large rusted spots. The letters are mostly worn away on the tic-tack-toe and letters games, and the clock on the lower level is missing its hands and largely filled with woodchips from underneath, Moisture has been sitting in there for who knows how long.

My toddler wanted to go down the enclosed twisty slide. As we sat down graffiti greeted us, and his little hands were drawn to the cigarette butts that littered the enclosure.

This city has many beautiful spots and Canatara is one of them. The grounds are always well tended and the grass always looks wonderful.

But it’s time we start looking at its other parts. It’s time we start taking care of it all, including the play equipment and roadways.

Let’s take some pride in our parks, for ourselves and for those coming after us.

Kelly Dowswell

Ford not saying how he’ll pay for promises

Letter writer Bernice Rade (May 24th edition) said Premier Kathleen Wynne buys votes, yet Doug Ford’s Conservatives were caught paying actors $75 to pretend to be Ford supporters at a leaders’ debate.

She criticized Andrea Horwath by saying ‘nothing is free!’ But Conservative Party trickle-down, tax-cut vote buying is not ‘free’ either.

Former Premier Mike Harris borrowed $16 billion to finance his plan, giving huge dividends to the wealthiest 3% of Ontarians while driving the provincial debt to $130 billion from $89 billion. Then the PC’s were caught by the Auditor General trying to hide a $6 billion deficit in their “balanced” budget.

The PC’s dumped social housing, transit, child care, ambulances etc., on municipalities, without providing funds for local councils to pay. With Ontario PC’s you have two choices – higher property taxes and user fees or cut services.

The Conservative hydro privatization initiated a massive price escalation and the hydro mess in the first place. Blackouts were regular under the Conservatives; Ontarians didn’t know if their lights would turn on. Today, blackouts are rare and we’ve had fewer smog days since 2013 because dirty coal was phased out, saving billions in related health-care costs.

Conservatives cut a billion dollars from classrooms, fired 6,000 nurses and closed 26 hospitals, causing ER chaos, attacked Ontario’s poorest people and butchered the environment ministry, culminating in the Walkerton disaster.

Justice O’Connor’s Walkerton Report said Conservative cuts to scientists, water sampling, weakened reporting standards and axing of safety regulations by deregulating factory mega-hog farming (where the e-coli came from) directly related to the disaster.

Ford Nation’s one concern is, ‘I hate taxes.” But taxes pay for the greater good of society and infrastructure.

Ford has yet to cost his $12 billion worth of promises/cuts/lost revenue or admit what he will attack to pay for it.

But Ontarians already know what the devastating costs will be. As Bernice said, ‘Nothing is free.’

Stanton Earle


Utility an extension of Liberal’s hydro logic

Recently, Unconquered Sun’s call centre telephoned me to explain why I should purchase roof top solar panels and earn income from them by tying into the hydro grid.

Readers should know that Unconquered Sun, a solar company, is owned by local utility Bluewater Power, which in turn is owned by the City of Sarnia and some surrounding municipalities. Both Bluewater Power and Unconquered Sun promote the Wynne government’s energy policy.

It struck me as peculiar that this sales event would occur during the provincial election. On the one hand, Blue Water Power can now “turn off the lights” to those who have been unable to pay their hydro bills, while on the other hand its subsidiary sells solar panels to generate very expensive electricity, the price of which has contributed to record numbers of hydro customers defaulting on their hydro bills.

Bluewater Power now has become an extension of the Liberal government’s hydro logic.

My question: do residents like this?

Yours truly,

Roger Gallaway
Point Edward

Loud, obnoxious vehicles everywhere

Regarding recent letters from Terry Lindsay (May 17), and Bernie Lajoie (May 24) that complaining about loud and racing vehicles in Canatara Park – this issue is not restricted to the Canatara Park area. Our downtown is being taken over by these bullies.

A growing number of drivers in this city are intent on destroying the peace and enjoyment of its citizens. They come out mainly at dusk or earlier and seem intent on creating as much noise as possible, revving engines and backfiring at traffic lights, and then roaring up to the next light to repeat the process, making a couple of circuits around the downtown before presumably racing off to Canatara Park.

We purchased a condominium three years ago so we could enjoy the lovely downtown shops, restaurants, and waterfront. Unfortunately, these inconsiderate bullies cruising our streets are ruining the enjoyment of our city for everyone.

It is no longer pleasant strolling the downtown, particularly on a First Friday evening, as this is often a favourite time for these aggressive drivers to create havoc.

This city has noise bylaws against un-muffled vehicles, both cars and motorcycles. It is past time that these bylaws were enforced.

I encourage anyone interested in taking back our city to sign the petitions that are circulating.

David Lundy


Speeding drivers have no respect for the law


Sir: Regarding the May 17th letter “Loud and obnoxious road bullies” by Terry Lindsay.

I am writing on behalf of a group of my neighbours who live on Lakeshore Road, between Indian and Colborne.

We are very concerned about the speed and noise of automobiles and motorcycles there, and have discussed presenting a signed petition to the traffic division of Sarnia Police to address this problem.

The average speed driven on Lakeshore is much higher than 60 km/h. On occasion I have driven on Lakeshore road between Murphy and Cathcart at 55 km/h and had people right on my tail, trying to push me along and then passing me with the “dirty look.” On one occasion I was given “the finger.”

Yes, road rage is alive and happening in Sarnia. There isn’t one posted speed limit sign travelling west on Lakeshore Road between Murphy and Canatara Park, and there are no traffic lights between Murphy and Michigan. This is a recipe for speed.

The presence of police with radar, issuing tickets, would be a viable solution to this problem. If these individuals have to pay a fine, forfeit demerit points, and pay more for insurance, it should get their attention.

Last fall, a gentleman called into CHOK radio when a police officer from traffic division was taking questions, and he complained about the continuous speeding and racing on Indian Road.

This matter has to be addressed before someone is killed or seriously injured.

I have only referenced Lakeshore because that’s where I live. I’m certain people on other busy streets would be of the same opinion.

I was encouraged to write after reading Terry Lindsay’s letter. I hope this letter encourages others to voice their concerns also.

Dan Owen

Leaders should invest in wellbeing of common folk

Democracy means the Rule of the People – not electing a ruler. Common people need a representative in government that will administrate our needs and demands.

Voting for a particular party illustrates loyalty, not democracy. Devotion should be given to the common people from all parties, not the other way round.

Votes should be a considered vote, not a committed vote. If you commit your vote before the election campaign began that’s not democracy. New parties are turning up; granted they don’t win elections the first time round, but they have to start somewhere.

Unfortunately, people are only asked to participate in the democratic process (Rule of the People) at election time. Participating at other times with a concern, alternative view or in protest, typically leads to being ignored, censored or worse.

Many in power around the world seem to be putting the common people on a downward trend. Health is worsening, education is failing, literacy is waning and handwriting is on its way out.

The environment is becoming a waste bin with overuse of chemicals on the soil, crops, and air – pollinators being the first on the way out. On the rise are poverty and wars, which tend to go hand in hand.

I would like to see governments invest in the wellbeing of common people. Why do elected government always say they will fix the problems next time if you re-elect them? It is always next time. When another party gets in, they undo the policies of the last term.

I recently read a newspaper article about the Consensus Ontario Party coming to Southern Ontario and followed up on its website.

I wish they had an experienced Sarnia candidate running to consider here. Maybe next time. Thankfully, there are other choices as well, and all the best to everyone.

May the most capable person win.


Nick Wallace

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