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Week of July 14

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Sarnia deserves a new mayor

Sir: It seems to be business as usual for our mayor, Mike Bradley, who felt the integrity commissioner’s report on his behaviour was unnecessary, unfair, and unhelpful.

Really Mr. Bradley?

Our mayor sees his role as the City Watchdog exercising surveillance over expenses and budgets. His main goal for the city seems to be zero debt.

Is that it Mr. Mayor?

Strong leaders tend to exhibit vision and a capability to communicate that vision to the people working for them. Good leaders tend to be excellent strategists, inspirational to their followers, and creative thinkers. They are generally not autocratic and don’t need to bully their people to achieve their vision.

Sarnia continues to drift under Mr. Bradley’s leadership, or lack thereof.

Unemployment in Sarnia was 9.1% in April, compared to Windsor at 7.0%, London at 6.6%, Kitchener at 6.0% and Guelph at 4.4%.  Even before the drop in oil prices Sarnia was running record unemployment rates in the province.

Retail vacancy rates remain stubbornly high, hovering near 15%, beating most other cities in Ontario.

Canada’s population in 1991 was 27.3 million and grew to an estimated 35.8 million in 2015. Sarnia’s population over the same quarter century fell from 74,100 to 72,000. No growth in 25 years, despite the fact we have a major highway running through town, host a busy railroad hub, are a gateway to one of the busiest border crossings in the country, and have access to an airport with scheduled service.

This city is apparently just kind of a ‘drive-by’ mired in derelict buildings everywhere you look, and roads going unpaved for half a century. Seems like a city the rest of the province has forgotten about.

Where’s the vision in that, Mr. Bradley? The creative strategies for growth and the inspiration for making this city come alive?

Point Edward just got a new mayor. Too bad we can’t do the same.

Fraser Williams



Thanks for the Bell connection

Sir: I enjoyed the article “Operator, connect me … please”. In the mid 1950s my wife June (Grealis) Murphy worked as a long distance operator, initially in Wallaceburg and when we married in 1955 in the Sarnia Bell office pictured in your article. By that time she called herself a long distance operator as we could dial a local call, but “local” was a pretty small area.

I think our party line on the Moore telephone system had a number starting with Towsend 2.

Jim Murphy



Mavericks evoke true manliness

Sir: I have read the article about the group of men wanting to be actively involved in speaking out for abused women – Men Launch Sarnia Born-Campaign To Take A Stand On Violence Against Women.

Then I read the letter to the editor slamming these guys because, 1) they were wearing white hoodies and therefore were possibly the KKK, and, according to the writer, were making a poor fashion statement; 2) these nine guys were “myopic” or lacking imagination, lacking intellectual insight. They are not following the author’s idea of a “new progressive policy” that refrains from supporting a gender-based organization, and 3) some ancient Samurai wisdom that equates the weaker (women?) being capable of insidious evil.

The word samurai originally meant “one who serves” and held true to the unwritten code of chivalrous behavior known today as Bushido (usually translated as “Precepts of Knighthood” or “Way of the Warrior.”)

Just a few decades after Japan’s warrior class was abolished, author Nitobe Inazo interpreted the samurai code of behavior: how chivalrous men should act in their personal and professional lives. By 1867, when the public wearing of swords was outlawed and the warrior class was abolished, they had evolved into what Hideyoshi, the supreme ruler of all Japan had envisioned nearly three centuries earlier: swordless samurai.

Bushido is the emphasis on compassion, benevolence, and the other non-martial qualities of true manliness. Readers would benefit by researching Bushido’s eight virtues as understood by Inazo. It would appear that the Mavericks aren’t Ku Klux Klan racists but modern day swordless Samurai.

Kudos to the MAV.


Don Ballantyne


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