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Letters: week of Oct. 18

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Squirrel Man thanks motorists for sparing wildlife on road


Sir: Good day. It’s the Squirrel Man again.

I would like to thank the motorists who slow down and watch for children and wildlife on South Christina Street.

I am located across from Rainbow Park and love the squirrels, which I consider my wild outdoor pets.

Recently, the driver of a pickup truck slowed down to let a squirrel cross the road. But she got scared and began to run down the centre of the street. The driver followed right behind so nobody else could pass, allowing the squirrel to cross over.

Well, my little one ran right over to me. It was so cute to see.

I really thank this person for giving her a few seconds to get across safe and not just run her over.

Last week, I lost three of my little ones that were hit and run over so many times. I’m losing raccoons and lovely opossums too, that I have to pick up.

Many are hit each year and the city just says, “Oh, well, they’re just animals.”

So again, ‘Thank You’ kindly for your caring.

Harry Anderson



Ignore the griping. eVoting was a quick and easy process

Sir: I voted electronically in the Sarnia municipal election on Oct. 11. It was quick and painless.

I was able to select each candidate whom I think will do the best job for our fair city. I was able to cast each vote from my desk. I didn’t have to go to City Hall or other venue. I didn’t have to wait in a line.

Navigating was intuitive and straightforward for a user experience. Value added features include options to spoil your ballot, and decline.

I encourage all other eligible voters (especially women), to exercise your right and do the same as I did.

Go to

Enter your pin

Your date of birth

Confirm you are not a robot

Choose the candidates that you think will do the best job looking after our fair city for the next four years.

Dallas Boychuk



Unless Gillis is elected as the next mayor nothing will change

Sir: In politics nothing is what it seems. Even at the municipal level phantom figures have been put out there by both mayoral candidates. So much for transparency.

Of course, there must be fiscal accountability at all levels, but an Auditor General for a city of 71,000, really? Mike Bradley has proposed this idea to support his IT and other staff reductions at City Hall.

But his figures don’t add up. The IT department has increased, but overall there has been a staff reduction of 17 personnel at City Hall.

Mike Bradley and some of the council candidates believe he can do no wrong, and continue to support his negative view of city staff and his unacceptable “leadership style.”

Despite the negativity regarding Centennial Park and the boat ramp, when you take an unbiased look at the outcome, they are a wonderful addition to our waterfront. Jackson Pool wasn’t a positive outcome but can be revisited with good leadership and a collaborative hand at the tiller.

Poor leadership and a lack of respect for the staff are problems all centred on Mike Bradley. Same stuff, same problems, same Bradley, vote for him and nothing will change.

This campaign, he is fighting for his livelihood, not Sarnia. He shows his true colours by repeating the mantra of fiscal accountability for staff and councillors, removing the non-existent “fortress,” and saying anything but the truth about why nothing worked between his office and staff.

It has taken years to see through his implausibility as a leader, and crying wolf now is too late.

Anne Marie Gillis’s vision is for an all-inclusive city, and she doesn’t separate the Aamjiwnaang community from Sarnia. Please, despite entrenched personal views, social media espousing sad untruths, and sometimes misguided loyalty, think carefully about the future of ALL citizens who call this wonderful city home and vote for a change to make Sarnia great again. That change is Anne Marie Gillis.

Peter Clarke



Anti-fluoride columnist should stick to the science


Sir: This is a response to the guest column of Agneta Czechowicz (Oct. 11) concerning her opposition to fluoridation.

In the fifties, while residing in Sudbury on a street that had many, many children, we unfortunately had one thing in common and that was cavities. Once a year we went to the Inco dentist’s office and once a year we were informed that we had cavities. We all brushed our teeth but this was not a prevention for cavities.

Now in my sixties with four children of my own and four root canals because of those cavities, I note that none of my children had any cavities as they grew up, nor did their friends.

Was it the fluoride in the toothpaste or the fluoride in the water that saved them from this serious dental problem?

The dental hygienist’s thesis is that there is no recognized prescribed dose for the water. That is totally not correct. The American Dental Association, Health Canada, and the Canadian Dental Association recommend a certain percentage of fluoride for water treatment systems.

Ironically, in 2002, the Canadian Hygienists Association also recommends fluoridation treatment. I guess the writer gave up her membership and did not receive this policy.

Like all distorted theories, there are willing and gullible audiences. Just google Gwyneth Paltrow to discover what not to do “In Good Health.”

What Ms. Czechowicz does not acknowledge is that fluorosis is rare in only 2% of the world population, and that any dentist anywhere in the world could make a determination that fluorosis was present because it is obviously and noticeably reflected in the enamel of a patient.

Also, since fluoride has been added to water treatment systems, studies have indicated that there was a drop in tooth decay from 30% to 60%.

Finally, I ask this question. How many patients did this hygienist see who displayed this symptom of fluorosis? Please, stick to the science and not some belief based on a health lifestyle!

John Desotti



It’s sad so many people turning blind eye to Bradley’s behaviour


Sir: I have read the reports (Workplace Investigation Report and the City Integrity Commissioner’s Report) on Mike Bradley’s behaviour in the workplace, and I am disheartened that so many people in Sarnia seem to be turning a blind eye to his behaviour.

We, as a civilized society, cannot vote for someone who has used such tactics and behaviours in the workplace as Mike Bradley has.

I am voting for Anne Marie Gillis for Mayor as she has valuable council experience and a track record of treating everyone with respect. Respectfully,

Gail Mitton



Male domestic assault victims also in need of program assistance

Sir: All victims of domestic assault require social support.

Jill was a physically and emotionally abused wife who referred herself to the Women’s Interval Home where she resided for a month. She received counselling and was assisted with finding a new home to live independently.

David was physically assaulted with a weapon by his wife. His only place to go was one of the local shelters for homeless individuals. It left David feeling helpless, unworthy, and depressed.

Domestic violence has been recognized as a public health problem. Victims have a decrease in overall health because of problems with depression, substance use, and chronic disease including mental illness. Violence can be a traumatic experience for anyone; however, being homeless in addition to the abuse can be unbearable.

On the CBC News radio program The 180, Sarah Desmarais, a forensic psychologist, reported that currently there is little difference between the number of males and females suffering from domestic abuse. It must be noted that men reporting to the police are less likely to be taken seriously and there are far fewer abusive women being convicted.

Closer to home, Sarnia Victim Services reiterated Desmarais’s statement and added that several abusive female partners who are facing legal charges will retaliate with similar accusations against their male partners.

Acknowledging the presence of male victims is one step to gender equality, but the second step should be to offer support for them.

It is unjust to realize men are victims without taking action to protect them and help them heal. Abuse hurts anyone, regardless of his or her gender.

Judith A Robinson



Do we need fundraisers to repair the streets in this city?

Sir: Can someone explain how the city found the money to pave part of the road in Canatara Park?

Was Lake Chipican Drive even on the repair list last year? Five years ago?

I hate to complain, but Bradford Drive is falling apart. We got new Bell Internet cable installed, but the road is cracking and the city only continues to patch its holes.

Afton Crescent may be the worst. It’s a thoroughfare to London Road and a high traffic area with lots of children playing there.

Hey, we’re over here! Just look for the black patches.

Maybe we could start a fundraiser for our street. Maybe every street in the city that needs new pavement could hold its own fundraiser.

Would you like to donate to a city pothole fund?

Cam Ross



Vote for Gillis and keep city progressing


Sir: I echo, “Before you vote, read the Bradley reports.” This is is good advice and they are very informative.

I agree that leadership and teamwork matter in the workplace. This was not the case working under Mike Bradley.

I was fortunate to have worked for a Canada-wide organization and had excellent leadership during my career. No one was harassed or bullied when doing their job. Productivity increases when people are treated with respect and when their work and ideas are valued.  In return, people will bring positivity to the work place.

City’s Strategic Plan and associated documents should also be read. They are available at under Living Here, “Corporate Strategic Plan 2017-2020”.

Our city has moved forward! The General Hospital is being torn down, the completion of Centennial Park, we’ve received a national silver award for our parks. New construction happening downtown. Other developments happening, with record-high construction permits.

The city has also started on some big infrastructure projects, the Donohue Bridge, new sewers, watermains, streets, Waterworks Road and the Bright’s Grove lagoons capacity expansion.

An up-dated IT department at City Hall will let citizens do their business with the city online at their convenience. And E-voting. Thank You! This is what we need to keep progressing.

This all says the City is open for business, improving itself and trying to grow. Why haven’t we grown in 30 years?

Look at the City videos: LIVE, WORK, PLAY at Look at Canatara Park, the Children’s Animal Farm and Sarnia Arena up-grades, the Howard Watson Nature Trail, our dog parks and the new cycling lanes. We’re finally catching up to other cities!

I felt this letter was important because of all the written negativity in the media. We have a lot to celebrate on what the city has accomplished in the last few years. Change is not easy, however, if we want this city to keep moving forward a change is crucial, and that’s productivity in action!

Vote for Anne Marie Gillis, because Leadership Matters!

Paul Williamson



Mike Bradley has been a great mayor and he has my support


Sir: Mike Bradley has given us 30 years of his life. He has been a full-time mayor working night and day on our behalf for “tuppence.”

He pursues issues of concern not only to our community but also beyond (water quality, nuclear waste, etc.) and has gained great respect for doing so and with no regard to political persuasion.

Locally, he is always on top of issues of concern to individuals or to groups. Personally, in fighting a flooding problem created by the building of two new homes beside my property, he came to my rescue after trying to get somewhere with city staff for two years, and then he followed up to be sure of my satisfaction.

Was he assertive with staff to achieve this? Has a staff person (now gone from a second municipality) with a history also been used by the “hawks” in council for their own political gain?

It appears to me these “hawks” have been waiting on a limb to get something on Mike and took opportunities like these to make his life difficult. I could go on about this group’s handling of a number of matters, but it is how they dealt with the mayor that was disgraceful.

This act of persecution would never have happened in business and industry. And what a shame we have ended up with a City Hall whose access has become more like a prison than a public institution (We are not Toronto!).

I have personally been involved in bringing Venturers (14-17-year-old youth in the Scouting movement) and their leaders to Canada, and each time these groups have been welcomed to the city by Mayor Mike.

What an excellent impression these groups have been given of Sarnia and the mayor himself. Each time he has used his scrapbooks (so criticized by the “hawks”) to give a lasting image of a city of which we can all be proud.

This group has done more harm to the city than to the image of a well-respected mayor.

Mike, you have my support!

Doug Winch



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