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Week of April 15

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Resident starts petition to address noisy vehicles

Sir: After reading the April 8 letter, “Why does Sarnia have a noise bylaw if it’s not enforced?” I felt it necessary to respond.

The very same thing is happening in the residential area of Finch and Wellington.

The sound is excruciating, and over an extended period of time high decibel levels have long-term health effects.

Recently I was in contact with a Sarnia Police Constable. He seemed genuinely interested in helping and understood the severity of the traffic situation, and agreed about the noise level and the volume of vehicles on the streets.

He explained police are limited because the court system is not operating under normal circumstances due to COVID restrictions, so people are getting away with it.

Police also believe modified vehicles are a low-priority concern.

In reality, Sarnia must look to implement stricter measures due to the sheer volume and steady increase of vehicles with modified mufflers and exhaust systems, speeding, burning out, disturbing the peace, and violations of the noise bylaw.

These violations must be taken much more seriously because of the impact it’s having on residential and business areas of Sarnia.

I have created a petition to help tackle this problem at www.change.org/p/illegal-vehicles-drag-racing-in-sarnia though circulating it during the lockdown is difficult.

I also intend to start a Facebook page.

I hope to bring more awareness to the seriousness of the violations occurring on the streets of our beautiful city of Sarnia, which is being over-run with illegally modified vehicles.

Reva Steenbergen


Sarnia-Lambton’s future in green industry jobs

Sir: Congratulations are due to the Bio-industrial Innovation Canada for bringing another green start-up company (Aduro Energy) to the Western Research Park.

Aduro Energy has developed some interesting water-based technologies that could help us convert what are currently waste materials (biomass, heavy oils, etc.) into renewable fuels.

This kind of industry is exactly what Sarnia-Lambton needs to attract and nurture. The transition away from fossil fuels is already underway, and may take place a lot faster than many expect.

Sarnia-Lambton needs to be ready with new industries and new jobs, and we need to be winning those jobs now. Unfortunately the Conservatives and Liberals are doing more to prop up the old industries than they are to develop the new.

Contrary to what you may have heard, the transition to renewable and green technology is a job creator, not a job killer. In fact two recent studies (Forbes Magazine Apr 22, 2019 and Science Direct Report) both reported that renewable energy creates three new jobs for every fossil energy job lost.

To use a Wayne Gretzky analogy, we need to go where the jobs are going to be, not where they are today.

Peter R Smith


Kudos, to well organized vaccination clinic

Sir:  My wife and I received our COVID-19 vaccinations recently (over 75 cohort) and want to compliment the entire staff for their outstanding job.

The Point Edward Arena was super clean and the clearly demarcated lines easy to follow. Those manning each desk were pleasant, helpful and efficient. This should serve as model for other cities.

Jim & Janey Sekerak


Taxpayers pick up tab when CRA let’s cheaters go free

Sir: Recent news reports have provided more information about the infamous Canadian tax dodge, the Panama Papers, involving the leaked financial records of politicians, athletes, celebrities and notorious criminals.

It has taken over five years for the Canada Revenue Agency to investigate hundreds of Canadian cases and find about 35 owing taxes. But not a single criminal charge has been laid.

In other democratic countries, fines, charges, criminal convictions and jail time have been enacted and hundreds of millions of dollars recouped.

This evasion not only hurts the Canadian taxpayer, who makes up the difference, but also tells tax dodgers that it’s OK because if they’re caught, the fines are minimal, there’s no jail time, and they usually get relief on the owing sum.

The CRA is not properly prosecuting tax evasion, and five years is clearly foot-dragging. The Canadian taxpayer has become the new “tax haven” for both corporate and private cheaters.

Dean McEachen

Point Edward

Councillor had important roll in Harbour acquisition

Sir: Congratulations on a very good and interesting report on the history of Sarnia Harbour.

I would single out the significant role that Councillor Terry Burrell played in persuading council to accept ownership of the Harbour. He refused to accept a staff recommendation to reject ownership, and got the rest of council to urge staff to strongly pursue the Feds to provide maintenance funds with the transfer.

His pitch was pivotal to the Harbour now being owned by Sarnia. Yours truly,

Saorgus Mc Ginley


Business owners have good reason to be upset by lockdowns

Sir: Regarding Debbie Chapman’s April 8 “Maskless Protestors” letter.

I was not one of the protestors, but I am a small business owner. It is apparent that what we have been doing with masks, hand washing and social distancing for the past year has done little to control the virus or we wouldn’t be in our third lockdown. Many respected scientists have said that the virus particle is too small to be contained by some masks.

If being in contact with people without masks was the reason behind “mass spread,” then how do we explain that one positive person within a household or workplace does not result in the rest being infected?

Viruses have been with us forever and they will continue to do so. They mutate and produce variants in order to survive. We have to find a way to live with them. Being exposed to a virus results in antibodies that strengthen our immune system and that is our best protection against any virus.

Yes, very sadly, some people will die, just as with the flu outbreak yearly.

I do not know if Ms. Chapman is a business owner, so I speak generally with the following. If a person is an employee and has kept their job, either on the jobsite or from home, perhaps it is hard for them to understand the full impact of what is happening with small business owners and their employees, and what it is like to be under this kind of stress for over a year now.

Many small businesses have been forced to close, meaning lost revenue and wages for the owner and employees. Repeated lockdowns impact even more. Many businesses simply will not survive financially and will not be able to reopen.

This has been a difficult time for everyone. Business owners are frustrated, and many people are expressing anger, whether they own a business or not.

Lee Bothamley 


We need more COVID-19 testing, not less

Sir: My stepson, a teacher, has a student that tested positive for COVID-19 recently.

The class was sent home for 14 days. My stepson phoned and told us we should get tested because he had been here for his birthday.

He texted back to say he’d been told by Lambton Public Health not to bother getting tested because he hadn’t spent 15 minutes of interaction time with the student without a mask, and to monitor himself for symptoms. Such concern!

His school wanted him to come in the next day to hand out laptops.

My wife, stepson, and I booked tests anyway, thank you very much.

Last December, when a player from my pal’s hockey team got COVID, Lambton Public Health told the rest of them not to bother getting tested. Instead, they were told to monitor themselves and they would probably be fine. Well, they went on their own to be tested and seven more tested positive. One guy had flown out west before he found out he was positive.

It reminds me of a certain figure from recent history: “Don’t get tested because the number of infections will go up.”

And we’re closing small businesses because…?

That isn’t my idea of keeping us safe and healthy.

Doug Hacking 




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