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Letters: week of Oct. 26

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Kudos to Marilyn Gladu and office for resolving pension problem

Sir: I worked at CN on the car ferries and paid into the U.S. railroad retirement board.

When CN closed operations I did not have enough credits for the railroad retirement board, so my contributions went to social security administration, who also stated I did not have enough credits to qualify for pension benefits.

I have contacted CN and these U.S. organizations on and off since 1991 trying to resolve this issue.

I recently called the CN pension department in Montreal and explained to them if I am not eligible for a pension then CN should reimburse my out-of-pocket expenses.

The CN pension advisor said there was a totalization agreement between Canada and the U.S to combine my pensions, but they would not represent me in dealing with the social security administration and stated my case was now closed!

I went to M.P. Marilyn Gladu’s constituency office and explained my frustrations to Marilyn’s assistant.

Within one week I received a call from social security administration regarding a letter they had received. They explained to me what I need to do closer to retirement, that I will receive a social security pension, and even gave me a dollar figure!

Thank You Marilyn and your assistant! You both went the extra mile and got my concerns addressed. Keep up the good work! Case Closed.

Matt Jones
Sarnia

 


Loud, racing vehicles really are a problem in Canatara Park

Sir: I’ve been reading a lot of ink about the roaring engines in Sarnia all summer, including Mr. Ballantyne’s latest letter about the traffic in and around Canatara Park.

My wife and I just moved to our retirement cottage just outside Canatara Park, and we never expected the “zoom zoom” and loud engines we experience on a daily basis.

We ride our bikes and walk through the park daily, and the same cluster of clunkers congregate in the large parking area near the Bandshell.

Then, after dark, they come out through the entrance and race in all directions, side by side, with no regard to public safety.

I guarantee if an unmarked police car sat there on any night after dark, the amount of money the city would make in fines would pay for the officer’s wages tenfold.  Seriously!

Even sitting on the backyard deck we have to pause conversations until the ruckus stops and the cars/bikes get out of range.

Why is a small vehicle like a motorcycle allowed to be as noisy as a city bus? And what is a group of grown men doing in the park together after dark?


Jeffrey Lindsay

Sarnia

 



Coverage appreciated

Sir: We really appreciated the coverage and attention The Journal gave to our Candlelight Vigil on Sept. 28. Being able to get our message out is so important and we are grateful to have the photo published.

The evening is always a memorable one for all victims of impaired driving, including First Responder personnel, such as police, firemen and paramedics. It turned out to be such a beautiful setting at the site of our new memorial bench and along the waterfront.

As the statistics indicate, on average, four people are killed and 175 injured daily in crashes where alcohol and/or drugs are present. Thank you for your assistance in helping us to achieve our mission – to stop impaired driving and to support victims of this violent crime. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Carol Parsley,
on behalf of MADD Sarnia/Lambton

 



It’s the neighbours who pay for smoke-free school grounds

Sir: On April 10, 2002, the Lambton Kent District School Board implemented Procedures No: A-AD-136-02 banning smoking from any and all property within its jurisdiction.

The idea, an admirable one, was to support and enforce smoke-free environments for staff, students, visitors and board members.

Now that fall is here and students are back in class, it is apparent – once again – that, although the theory behind this procedure is commendable, the implementation of it is flawed. Driving around Sarnia I see flocks of students – one step off school board property – smoking, drinking pop and eating food. This is bad enough, but the students continue to disrespect the schools’ neighbours by dropping their garbage on lawns and sidewalks.

My own neighbour’s front porch, short fence and driveway have been used as seating areas for students. She does not have children at home, so I know the teenagers are not hers.

I appreciate the school board’s attempt to provide a smoke-free environment. I also understand that providing ‘clean’ work places is mandated by provincial law. But turning a blind eye to students smoking is akin to having a dog, not allowing it to do its business on your own property, but giving it free rein to urinate and defecate on the neighbours’ properties.

School boards and our provincial government are tacitly teaching students to be disrespectful of others’ properties by making school property smoke-free. In response, I suggest the following:

  1. Designate a small part of ALL school properties as smoking areas so neighbours are not required to clean up after students; and
  2. Put trash cans beneath the school signs that say, “PLEASE USE TRASH CANS.”

Although it was before secondhand smoke was acknowledged as a health issue, my dad was a high school principal. He designated the ground directly outside his office window as the school’s “Smoking Area.”

Students are going to smoke. In fact, many of the ‘new’ smokers are teenage girls. Ontario and the Lambton Kent District School Board need to stop ignoring the issue making the neighbours deal with the reality of teenagers smoking and littering. Sincerely,

Kathy Milliken
Sarnia

 


 

Abortion clinic “bubble zone” bill a restriction of free speech

Sir: Ontario’s MPPs have passed second reading on Bill 163, which would limit witness and protests outside abortion clinics within a 50-metre ‘bubble zone,’ as well as around hospitals, pharmacies and the homes of abortion providers.

Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey does not support free speech, as shown by his support for Bill 163.

He will not get my vote in the 2018 election. Irrespective of the opinion of MPPs in Toronto, I will always speak out in defence of free speech.


Keith Patrick

Sarnia

 



Firearms registry textbook example of mismanaged program

Sir: In his letter of Oct. 19, Peter Smith stated his belief that the firearms registry keeps firearms out of the wrong hands by creating a way to trace them.

In a following paragraph Mr. Smith states that even with a registry firearms can become untraceable. It appears that the registry cannot be relied on to fulfill its ostensible purpose.

The long gun registry was introduced by the Chretien Liberal government and was sold to Parliament as having a net cost of $2 million for start up, and self-financing thereafter. In reality, it cost over one thousand times the announced figure.

Harvard Business School used the registry as an example of how not to implement a program.

In an earlier letter, Mr. Smith stated, “firearms may be traded to anyone,” “whether they hold a PAL or not.” People reading that could easily be led to believe it is legal to possess and acquire firearms without a licence.

It is a serious criminal offence to acquire or possess a firearm without a licence (PAL).  I commend Mr. Smith for pointing this out after it was brought to his attention.

 

Bruce Toye
Sarnia

 

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