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Week of February 10

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City council loves big dream projects – in an election year

Sir: At the Jan. 17th Sarnia council meeting we learned about the Waterfront Master Plan, which will cost $55 million, and a new indoor sports centre, which will cost at least another $34 million.

At the previous meeting we heard about a $3.4-million expansion of the Bright’s Grove library. Unfortunately, no one mentioned the $8 million required at Sarnia’s wastewater treatment plant, or the millions still required to fix the city’s neglected shoreline protection, or the other huge infrastructure repair backlog that continues.

Why is no one talking about the 100-year-old watermains, which cost thousands a year to maintain, or the remaining combined storm sewers that pollute the river?

This year, the city promised taxpayers $60 million in capital spending, but ending up with only $49 million. And taxpayers still don’t know how much of that is new capital money for 2022 and how much was carried over from previous years?

Hiring consultants to dream might be a great way to head into an election year, but I would prefer that we hire consultants to help us get us out of the mess we are in.

While other communities are providing zero property tax increases, Sarnia had to move $2.9 million from reserves to cover operating expenses in 2022. That seems quite unsustainable.

It has been said, ‘Beware of strangers offering gifts.’ But I would say, ‘Beware of politicians and their master planning mania.”

Respectfully submitted,

Susan MacFarlane

Sarnia


Fed up with government controls, pandemic mismanagement

Sir: I don’t know about other local residents, but I am fed up with the federal and provincial governments telling us how to live our lives and what we can and can’t do.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 we have been controlled and lied to by our governments. Most people got vaccinated because they were told it was protection from getting infected. Turns out that was false. Fully vaccinated people were getting infected, along with the unvaccinated.

Then they told us it is still better to get fully vaccinated, plus a booster shot, because it would boost our immune system, so if we get infected the illness will be much less than in the unvaccinated. Well, the ICUs are full of both vaccinated and unvaccinated people suffering from COVID-19.

So why is government discriminating against the unvaccinated and making laws requiring proof of vaccination to enter restaurants and other public places, when being vaccinated doesn’t stop you from getting infected and spreading the virus?

The government has dictated and controlled our lives for two years now, and how is that working out? Not very well. We recently hit record numbers for cases and people in hospital with COVID infections.

I don’t need the government telling me what to do, and neither do restaurants and small businesses. The government has proven that they have no expertise or common sense about living with COVID.

Let’s take our lives back and exercise the freedoms our forefathers fought so hard for, and quit letting the socialites in government tell us what to do.

Please, tell them they are elected to work for us, not dictate to us.

Greg Hamilton

Sarnia


Dog droppings full of dangerous pathogens

Sir: As I recall, many decades ago, numerous children from different communities got sick from the same condition within a short time frame.

A commonality was found. All of them had been to properties that were empty spaces where dog owners took their pets. It was found the ground was contaminated with dog waste.

Dog droppings can contain hookworm and other intestinal parasites, as well as giardia, E. coli, and salmonella. Parasites from feces can remain dormant in the ground for years, and can enter a person’s body through the skin and thrive. Children become infected by rolling, crawling, or sitting on the ground.

For those reasons, New York State in 1978 became the first to pass a “Pooper-Scooper” law that requires dog owners to clean up after their pets.

New York’s law inspired similar canine waste ordinances in other cities.

Please, Sarnia, do NOT put a dog park at the beach or a park where people play!

Lorraine Cheney

Sarnia


Right to be wrong can’t be ignored

Sir: The Journal’s openness to contrary opinions is commendable. For example, Brian Wallace’s Jan. 27th letter, “Are vaccines really the solution to the pandemic?”

His right to be wrong can’t be ignored. But his right doesn’t change reality.

Vaccines work.
Furthermore, I will complete my rant with this comment. As a diabetic approaching 70, his apparent belief that seniors are going to die if hit by a strong wind got me so aggravated I had to stop watching a rerun of the Andy Griffith Show.

Neil Bowen

Sarnia


Risk to the Canada-U.S. border was overstated

Sir: Regarding the Jan. 27 letter entitled, “Alarmed by U.S. political instability.”

In fact, it is the writer who is resoundingly alarmist, given that friends do not invade friends. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, promulgates that maxim.

I agree, as the letter writer states, that a safe food delivery system needs to be assured and secured, but there will not be “shooting and bombing to impact the movement of goods.”

There will be no need to secure the Canada-U.S. border. Rest easy, matters will turn out OK, notwithstanding some potential trouble spots.

Richard Sourkes

Sarnia


Child’s balloon a reminder for us all

Sir: I went to the “drive-by” held in support of front-line workers at the hospital recently.

A mom and child stood near me. The cute little guy was two.

He had a foil balloon of a shark, and at the sight of the first fire truck began yelling and jumping around.

After the parade went by he went over with his mom to a group of health workers and handed one of the nurses his balloon. It read: “You are Jaw Awesome”

It was a special, touching moment.

Driving home I thought, “Through the eyes of a child.” Many adults still have no idea what front-line workers are dealing with every day. Thank you, to all of them.

It was also a reminder of how any measure of kindness can do wonders. We all need to reach out and make someone’s day a little brighter, to let them know they are not alone.

We are going to get through this together.

Marie Cebulski

Sarnia


The spirit of the Toronto Maple Leafs

The young Leafs’ fan sits enthralled

To hear Grand Dad talk of glory days.

And the twenty thousand in between

Dissolve to vapour in the glory haze.

 

Hope, you anew do speak,

Whispering in an eager ear:

The hockey ghosts will rise again

And bring victory in the coming year.

Lou Giancarlo

Sarnia


Had a bad reaction to COVID-19 vaccine

Sir: In March I got my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine, and in May I received a second shot of the Moderna vaccine, after I was told no problem should occur.

I developed a red hot burning rash on my right arm. It did cool down in a couple of weeks, but a rash occurred with a persistent, uncomfortable itch on both arms, neck and shoulders for seven months.

A third shot is not going to happen.

This is a big problem with our media and government. They refuse to tell the truth to the people as it really is.

I am 84 and otherwise in almost perfect health.

John Parker

Sarnia


 

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