Housing Minister says level of homeless funding hasn’t changed
Sir: I want to address concerns raised in “Sarnia’s growing homeless population faces a bleak winter ahead” published in the Sarnia Journal on October 22, 2019.
Statements made in the article suggest that there will be a decline in available homelessness services due to funding provided by the province. These statements are completely false. Our government has maintained funding levels to the Community Housing Prevention Initiative (CHPI), to ensure we can continue to help people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
The County of Lambton is the designated Service Manager for the City of Sarnia, and we maintained their funding level at $2,276,742 for 2019-20. This funding level did not change from the previous year. This allocation will increase to $2.3 million in 2020-21.
Under our Community Housing Renewal Strategy, we are providing over $1 billion dollars in 2019-20 to help sustain, repair and grow community housing in Ontario, including supportive housing.
Ontario invests more in housing and homelessness, than any other level of government.
We are working with municipalities, service managers and the community housing sector to ensure that every Ontarian has a place to call home.
This is our plan and our priority.
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Let’s consider vacuum trucks to collect fallen leaves
Sir: I am writing about vacuum loose leaf collection.
Burlington, Ont. has two vacuum leaf collection dates, and Cambridge, Waterloo, London, Oakville, Kitchener — even the metropolis of Ingersoll — have a minimum of three vacuum leaf collection dates every fall.
This has worked and is obviously still working in many, many municipalities. Why not Sarnia?
On Oct. 23, council received a city staff report that noted a “few” municipalities use leaf vacuum collection, but suggested for Sarnia it would be time consuming, expensive ($90,000 per pick-up) and come with too many customer service concerns.
Marcotte and Emterra both currently have available vacuum trucks. They suck and mulch on the spot ensuring no clogged drains.
I, and many more residents implore council — please consider this request for the 2020 budget. The Sarnia taxpayers and paper leaf baggers will thank you next fall.
Listen up council: paper is a caper but plastic is fantastic
Sir: Regarding Margot Gulliford’s letter of Oct. 10: ‘City Hall, those paper yard bags just aren’t working for us.”
I hear her. The paper bags City Hall is requiring us to use get pretty beat up by the time the leaf pick-up vehicle comes.
I think an extra pick-up on the 15th and 30th of each month would help during the busy season.
And another thing — banning the use of plastic bags for recyclable. We dump all of our plastic, glass and paper in the blue box, but if we put a lid on it, the lid is gone the next day.
So what I’m seeing is all the recyclables blowing out on the street. Today, there’s plastic lying in front of the neighbours, which either blew out of the box or got left when the truck dumped the bucket.
Residents will need to keep their rakes out this winter to rake up all the rolling, blowing and flying recyclables.
It’s kind of like our road problem, with councillors saying, “We have no money, we have no money.”
But like the old saying goes: if you don’t do the job right the first time you’ll have to do it again.
Beware of email scammers pretending to be from Cogeco
Sir: We are subscribers to Cogeco and recently had some problems that were all resolved to our satisfaction.
So we were surprised to receive an email from the company stating: “Sorry for the interruption, but we are having trouble authorizing your payment. Please visit the My Account page to enter your payment information again or to use a different payment method.”
It went on to tell us if we still had problems to contact our credit card company, thanked us for our loyalty, and was signed by Dominique Trudel, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Consumer Market.
It was on Cogeco letterhead and looked very professional. Because the credit card making the monthly payments was due for renewal, we assumed that was the problem. But, before responding, we called Cogeco for clarification.
They said, DO NOT OPEN!
We thought, we’ve been super-careful and therefore immune to scams, but we almost got caught.
The scammers are getting more and more devious, so let’s all get more and more smarter!