Week of May 4

Councillor says she’s tired of Boushy’s ‘constant disrespect’

Sir: On Sept. 12 of 2016, city council passed a motion that “staff amend the procedural bylaw to create the position of Deputy Mayor & that council appoint a Deputy Mayor on an annual rotating basis with the member with the highest votes at the last election.”

Why? Because the Integrity Commissioner’s report showed Mayor Bradley contravened the Code of Conduct, and the Workplace Investigation report showed the mayor engaged in verbal, psychological and supervisory abuse, relational aggression and character assassination.

The report focused on four complainants, three of which have since left their jobs.

City council is required by law to take action. Coun. Dave Boushy’s letter to The Journal last week is redundant and misleading to the public.

To clarify, along with the creation of a deputy mayor, council also agreed to separate the mayor’s office from staff, amend the Code of Conduct (so members of council shall only communicate accurate information, even if they disagree, which passed by a recorded vote of eight in the Oct. 24th minutes, including Mr. Boushy) and for the mayor to take coaching/sensitivity, anger management, effective management and governance training on the role of mayor and council.

Mr. Boushy stated that, “methods undertaken by some council members is a conflict against the Code of Conduct…” But he himself voted to amend the code and then falsely lead the public.

I feel his constant disrespect of councillors and some staff members in the media, public, rallies and at council meetings is a direct conflict of the Code, and quite frankly I tire of it.

Not much has changed inside council chambers in the last 30 years. Mr. Boushy has done great work for the community being on and off council since 1963, but that era is over.

The culture of change, innovation and growth is here. Hang in there Sarnia, and thank you for your support and patience along the way.

For questions or comments please email me: councillorscholten@gmail.com

Cindy Scholten-Holt
Sarnia City Councillor

We have a million reasons to say thank you

Sir: I would like to congratulate the members of the Rotary Club of Sarnia on fulfilling their promise to the Bluewater Health Foundation and the citizens of Sarnia and Lambton County.

Donating $1 million to Bluewater Health is a staggering achievement. There is no doubt that the donation itself has improved the scope and quality of care for mothers and newborns at Bluewater Health. Additionally, though, the $1-million commitment by the Rotary Club of Sarnia early in the capital campaign created a lot of interest in supporting the project to build the new hospital.

The creation of the Rotary Club of Sarnia Charitable Foundation many years ago is a testament to the vision and commitment to community service of those Rotarians who made it happen.

Over the years, Rotarians have wisely managed the Foundation funds such that club members have been able to direct substantial donations to Pathways Health Centre for Children, the YMCA, Dow Centre for Youth, Huron House Boys Home, Community Living, St. Joseph Hospice, and the Inn of the Good Shepherd.

We are very fortunate to have the Rotary Club of Sarnia contributing to the welfare of our community. I would urge all to support their events, as well as those of the other Rotary Clubs, and to consider donating to the Rotary Club of Sarnia Charitable Foundation to the benefit of worthy organizations within our community.

Lawrie Lachapelle
Bright’s Grove

Tree bylaw would recognize everyone in this together

Sir: Re: the April 30 article “City eyes tree bylaw that could impact private property rights.”

I believe you have done a poor job representing what I observed at the Green Drinks forum.

First, the headline presents an obvious bias to the argument, putting fear tactics into use that a tree bylaw will impact freedoms.

As any homeowner should be aware, there are many restrictions on what you can and cannot do and build on your property.

Do you want a 10-foot fence? Not happening. Eight feet is the limit.

Can you just randomly build an expansion on your house? No, there are permits and bylaws in place.

Second, the story presents the view the meeting was very split on the issue, whereas what I observed was that the vast majority of attendants were in support of the bylaw, with a few who were quite vocal in their opposition.

The story failed to mention what I felt was one of the strongest statements by an attendant, which was along the line that we want to live in a community where people respect each other and value their neighbours and are working together towards a healthier and happier community.

We are not just in this for ourselves, and need to think of the impact our actions have on others. The city has only around 9% tree canopy coverage, and yet should be sitting at 30%.

We need to do everything we can to protect old growth trees and appreciate the value they add to our surroundings, as well as planting new ones.

In newly built subdivisions, people are not planting trees as they once did, lots are smaller and usually composed of a square of grass and nothing else.

The city needs to take a proactive approach to increasing tree planting on their properties and encourage and educate its citizens on the value and positive aspects of the trees already here.

Mark Nicholson

Canatara vandalism part of a much bigger problem

Sir: Local residents are still fuming over the damage done to Canatara and Mike Weir parks, and rightly so.

But those acts of vandalism are only part of a wider problem of rural green spaces being ruined by irresponsible owners of All Terrain Vehicles, dirt bikes and four-wheel drive trucks.

These natural habitats are less visited by the public, but the damaged being done to them by off-road vehicles is huge.

Some Conservation Areas in Sarnia-Lambton have rain-filled wheel ruts so deep in places legitimate hikers can’t use the trails.

One day, I witnessed ATVers destroy parts of a thriving, public wetland. It was bright and sunny and the frogs were chirping loudly, until four riders gunned their 350-pound, 30-horsepower machines through the wetlands. Not once, but over and over again, throwing mud up everywhere.

The frogs were silenced, the bulrushes shredded, and the dedication and hard work of many people destroyed in minutes. It was heart-breaking to watch.

It’s next to impossible to catch these delinquent ATV riders, who hide behind darkened helmets and body suits. Police can’t follow them off-road, and those who do have licence plates often cover them over or remove them before hitting the trails.

Strangely, these machines are marketed and sold as recreational vehicles, yet there are very few places they can legally be ridden except on private property.

Monte McNaughton, the MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, recently introduced legislation to increase trespassing fines from $65 to $500.

Another positive step would be tougher laws for habitat destruction. Fines up to $10,000, confiscated machines and drivers made to repair their damage would send a clear message.

It should also be mandatory for all off-road vehicle operators to receive training on safety, ethical use and environmental protection.

Abusers of our natural world aren’t just vandals, they’re environmental terrorists and should be treated as such.

Glenn Ogilvie

Sarnia needs to be more progressive on cycling policy

Sir: Re: the April 20 article, “No riding on the sidewalk.”

I’m with Hal Regnier on continuing to cycle on sidewalks when one’s safety is jeopardized. I also agree that the $5,000 education campaign will be inconsequential.

Better to go back to the drawing board and come up with something more progressive and comprehensive.

I’d be curious to see a breakdown on where the injuries occurred; the two deaths we know about already – on roads.

There was no indication that the staff report provided that information.

John Wever

Dependence on methadone not unlike insulin for diabetes

Sir: I went to a talk about methadone by Dr. Del Donald.

He essentially said that the reason methadone clinics are necessary is because primary care physicians don’t want to treat addicts.

The reason: addicts are sick and primary care physicians, because of capped billing, don’t want sick people in their practices.

Dr. Donald said primary care physicians (family doctors) get paid the same amount to treat sick people as healthy people, and since sick people take more work to treat than healthy people, the doctors don’t want sick people in their practices.

But this wasn’t the main message of his talk, though.

His main message was that addicts need to stay on methadone. If they don’t, they’ll relapse. He said there’s a lot of pressure on addicts from their support groups to come off methadone.

He drew a distinction between addiction, where people engage in destructive behaviours, and dependence, in which people need medication on an ongoing basis.

Dependence on methadone, he said, is the same as dependence on insulin for diabetes or anti-inflammatories for arthritis, and it’s not wrong.

He said the reason people come off methadone is they associate the medication with the illness and, since they don’t want to be sick, they come off the medication. In this case, they relapse.

This was the prevailing message of Dr. Donald’s talk. I couldn’t agree more.

Gary Roach