Sign up for our free weekday bulletin.

Letters: week of Nov. 9

Published on

Retirees leaving Sarnia, blame Ontario’s high cost of living

The satirical “Kathleen Wynne Moving Company” stopped in Sarnia on Oct. 12. It was a message from and it was reportedly travelling to Ontario’s hardest hit communities.

With high cost of living, which includes food, taxes, electricity, insurance and fuel, my wife and I have decided to pack it in. What was originally planned as our place to retire has been hijacked by the government of the day. It’s not easy to find and then settle into a place that’s going to be your final move, but Sarnia is an amazing city.

I was privileged to transport international students around Sarnia for the past three years. When asked what they thought of the city, the majority would tell me, “It’s quiet.”

Their experience was mostly from large cities in India and China. And you know what? With the exception of the yahoos who think their cars are toys, these students are right.

Walking trails, bike trails, beaches, parks, chip trucks (OK, that last one just slipped in there).

We listen to the ship’s horns letting boaters know they’re coming. I can’t tell you the number of hours I’ve spent sitting at the river under the bridge, checking my computer to see who was heading up or down the river

Where are we off to?

Well, that’s confidential information, but needless to say we will definitely be riding the Kathleen Wynne Moving Van, and that’s regrettable.

Don Ballantyne


Unholy littering around St. Pat’s


Sir: Members of Generation Z, otherwise known as Centennials, have garnered a reputation for being the most environmentally conscious cohort ever.

According to Forbes, these young people are passionate about the green issues of climate change, alternative energy, land conservation, recycling, and pollution, and are purported to be highly motivated environmental activists who will protest ecological injustices.

Impressive – yes! Well, these young folks might be adept at “thinking globally,” but “acting locally” from what I’ve been witnessing around the perimeter pathway just outside the grounds of St. Patrick’s Catholic High School has much to be desired.

The unholy mess of unsightly litter suggests callous disregard and sheer laziness. The added insult is that the debris is found primarily on the City of Sarnia’s land, not the school board’s. While hopefully not sounding too curmudgeonly: “what on earth are these students being taught?”

Maybe a teacher-led field trip to the school’s immediate surroundings might be a worthy lesson.

Stephen Cheetham



City Hall killing community assets by failing to maintain them


Sir: Re: the Nov. 2 letter from Dan Harding about efforts to save Jackson Pool.

Saving the pool is a very worthwhile undertaking to my mind. It’s hard to learn to swim at a splash pad.

Dan asks: How does a city not take care of assets donated to it?

That’s a great question. Is it budget allocation or budget management?

Here are some recent examples of what seem like poor preventative maintenance that resulted in the demolition of community assets.

Jackson Pool: When the issue was first raised the estimated repair cost was $150,000. Now it’s $581,000 to “probably one million.”

Lakeshore Kinsmen Centre: This building had a leaky roof that was let go to the point the building had to come down.

Canatara Log Cabin: It needs to come down and be replaced, partly because ” broken windows have allowed animals into the building.”

The carriage house at Canatara was recently replaced as it too had fallen into disrepair.

The McLean Centre: It once housed an excellent eatery, but was let go to the point of demolition.

I walked through Canatara Park recently. The roads and paved trails are in terrible shape. The curbing is so full of sand rainwater can’t drain away, and the washrooms have had one upgrade in 40 years.

Sarnia Arena is facing a major renovation. Thank goodness we have community service groups willing to install and replace city assets.

It’s unfortunate that city administrators see little value in preventative maintenance and continuous improvement.

Maybe this is no oversight. Fewer assets mean less work.

Is the sorry state of our recreational assets due to a reduced budget, or a budget that doesn’t allow for continuous improvement and preventative maintenance?

Personally, I have always believed in maintaining and continuously enhancing an asset. (Like a home.)

Michael Lester



What’s the big deal about fighter jets? The U.S. is our ally


Sir: Not everyone in Sarnia is bothered or frightened by the U.S. military aircraft flying along the St Clair River.

I for one enjoy seeing modern aircraft flying by for the brief few seconds that it takes to fly past Sarnia. I can’t imagine how anyone could feel frightened by the sightings of these aircraft.

After all, the United States is an ally of Canada in the war on terrorism and flying along the border in aircraft by professionals who have a job to do is not a threat to anyone, except the bad guys.

Complaining about their aircraft seems to be nothing more than petty nonsense.


Dave McCabe




It makes no sense for government to legalize marijuana


Sir: Over the years, increased taxation, discouragement and prohibitions over use have severely cut the use of tobacco, and thus the health issues resulting.

Currently, there is much hand-wringing in the media over the use, addiction and resulting deaths from opioids. Is legalizing the drug marijuana (cannabis) one of the most nonsensical ideas that any government anywhere has ever promoted?

Is there no common sense left in government circles in Ottawa or Toronto?


Keith Patrick



More like this