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Letters, week of Sept. 18

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Feds not on hook for health costs

Sir: Re: Ron Prior’s letter last week.

Mr. Prior states that it is beyond him why the Canada Border Services Agency ignored the health risk posed by the arrival of Nigerian students at Lambton College.

I am going to venture an explanation, which also points to one of the flaws of our system.

Ottawa – or the feds as we like to call them – have no responsibilities for the cost of health care, which, like education, is under provincial jurisdiction.

They let people in and then cleanly wash their hands of expenses to the provinces, municipalities, etc.

In the present situation, both Ottawa and the college show they need a large dose of common sense if only to “appear as doing the right thing!”

Claudette Deshaies



No plan for Cull Drain Bridge

Sir: Re: Cull Drain Bridge.

It is most unfortunate that we were put in this uncompromising position. Regrettably, we again found ourselves in a position in which we had to spend a significant sum without any plan.

The cost to remove the safety hazard that is the Cull Drain Bridge has quadrupled to $231,000 from an estimated $51,000. Part of the structure is to be moved to nearby Mike Weir Park where it will continue to deteriorate as an eyesore in one of the few parks the city actually seems to care about because there is no plan.

With a little foresight we could have saved the crossing and saved taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars that would be better used elsewhere. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

Once again the community was put in a no-win position requiring immediate action despite years of advance notice – ample time to consider all available options to develop and implement a plan.

So the question was this: what do we do now? Engineering reports concluded the bridge must come down, period. Not only did the bridge pose a safety hazard for people and pets, it became an eyesore due to years of neglect that comes with not having an effective plan.

Though I can respect the need to preserve our heritage, there comes a time when we must cut our losses. We had ample time to create and develop plans for this suddenly important bridge, but no one, council included, cared enough to come up with a real plan and we still don’t have one. With no plan in sight, how long until these trusses are forgotten?

The cost to salvage the bridge significantly exceeded its replacement value and the original estimate. So, what did we do? The only option that didn’t make any sense: spend money without a plan.

Jared Fedora



A Sarnia by any other name

Sir: I very much enjoyed George Mathewson’s article, “Chronicles of Sarnia: Part 2”.

It is indeed interesting to read of other places, businesses, yacht clubs, etc. and even people with the name Sarnia in them.

Searching recently for weather information online I noticed a hamlet called Sarnia Beach. It is located approximately 85 km north of Regina, Saskatchewan. Wikipedia lists the population, according to the Canada Census in 2006, at a staggering 27. Slightly more than the roster of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Keep up the good work and interesting news items and editorials in The Sarnia Journal.

Fred Phillips



Election signs found in dumpsters

Sir: I would like to bring to the public’s attention that candidates running in the upcoming municipal election are being targeted by someone pulling our campaign signs out of the ground and throwing them in the garbage dumpsters.

Myself and a couple other candidates have had many thrown out or simply disappearing from where we have had permission to place them.

As a candidate I have found signs in a garbage dumpster. Another candidate came to me because he saw mine in a dumpster as well.

Since this has started happening I have been on the lookout for mine and any other candidates signs. These signs are costly and none of us appreciate them disappearing and thrown away.

And it is not just one here or one there. It’s like several every day and from reoccurring places. It is obvious that it is the same people stealing them when it continues at the same locations.

It is one thing to have your preference who you want to win in the election, but it another thing to be downright wronged by doing this kind of thing!

Leave all of our signs alone! It’s a campaign and we all have the right to have them left up.

I don’t have the time to look around in garbage bins, but when I do find any I will be sure to take them back to any candidate, and I have.

So please, if anyone does see any, will you please contact the candidate and any of us running would be very happy to have them returned!

Marie Timperley




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