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Week of March 11

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Toronto émigré shocked by friendliness of her old hometown

Sir: I left Sarnia in the late ‘70s and headed to the Toronto area for school. There I met my husband, raised three children and taught school in the GTA for 35 years.

My husband and I have now returned to my hometown 42 years later. I’d like to share our impressions of being back.
Dealing with the moving company brought the first hint. After the arrangements were made, my husband Mike called to offer a deposit.

“No. I’m sure you’re as trustworthy as we are,” was their reply.

Wow. Couldn’t imagine that happening where we had lived!
Our house had been empty for a year and we soon had a plumbing issue. The plumber who arrived was friendly, professional and his rates very reasonable.

Our real estate agent has checked in periodically to see how we’re settling. Again, we had never experienced that.
We moved on Jan. 18 in the middle of the Lockdown, but the neighbours always give a friendly wave when we’re out walking or driving. Can’t wait till the summer to meet everyone.
I called your newspaper to ask for delivery, and the person I spoke to offered an enthusiastic, “Of course!”
Stacey at the paint store came to provide decorating tips and advice. Again very reasonable, professional and friendly.
We went to Service Ontario at the Courthouse to change our OHIP and car registration. Again – the employees were so friendly and efficient.

Maybe this doesn’t surprise Sarnia residents, but we see such a difference! I could go on and on.
I called the library to get a temporary card and had a good conversation with the clerk on speakerphone. When I got off my husband said, “That’s a woman who loves her job.”
Sarnia, in all sincerity – we have a really, really lovely community here.

And I know once the restrictions are lifted and we get out more there will be even more stories to tell.
Thank you. It’s good to be home!

Nancy (Turner) Ariganello 

Sarnia


Why is Canada buying oil from other countries?

Sir: Recently in the news there has been both admiration and consternation over the current U.S.-Canada political winds of change regarding the Keystone XL pipeline.

The current political fusion on XLP is negative and the pipeline probably won’t happen.

However, on a national scale, here’s the irony. We can’t even get our own natural resources (hydrocarbon) to our own “tidewater” for our own energy needs, much less the U.S.A. project.

What do you think our founders (who built the CNR across every province) would say about that?

Canadians are currently buying foreign oil from other, undemocratic countries, even though we have more than enough our own.

Go figure on that one!

Dean McEachen

Sarnia


City council should leave election to the professionals

Sir: Regarding city council’s decision to reconsider paper ballot in next year’s election.

I understand some of the arguments for paper ballots, but don’t agree. I have worked elections the past 25 years utilizing all election methods, and spent many hours attempting to dismiss the disinformation that goes with alternative voting methods.
One letter to council asked why paper ballots would be eliminated “if the cost could have been substantially reduced, by reducing the number of polling stations.” The writer added, “seniors won’t vote.”

In the 2018 election, 62% of the electorate that voted was over the age of 56. When it’s time to step up to the plate, seniors step up.
Some have also complained about a lack of public input. Well, two surveys were done.

And as for councillors not accepting the Elections Committee’s recommendation, they don’t have to. Councillors just have to use what information they need to make a decision in the best interests of the community.

My experience in the 2018 election was as one of the Voter Information Centre Returning Officers, and at a number of Long-Term Care Centres.

People do still vote on Election Day. It will probably take a generation to change the understanding that what was once an Election Day is now an Election Period.

In 2018, half the turnout came on Election Day. This is typical for all alternative voting methods. They would not need fewer Voter Information Centres, but more, with longer hours. Almost 12,000 people voted that day. Voter Information Centres other than City Hall were open only four hours.

Council’s decision to reconsider a hybrid voting system was made without all the information. Sarnia would have two elections to maintain – one paper and one electronic.

Politicians know how to campaign but not how to execute an election, and this includes former candidates on the Election Committee.

Leave it to the professionals to run the election. Bureaucrats should run elections, so councils can actually do the work they were elected to do and stop flip-flopping.

John Brown

Bright’s Grove


No scientific basis to subdivide humans into different “races”

Sir: Regarding the Feb. 25 story, “Diversity: Pioneering high school student group challenged racism head-on.”

It was heartwarming to read of the successful efforts to foster and celebrate cultural diversity at Northern Collegiate, and how a number of students spearheaded its development as a result of experiencing personal abuse and discrimination because of their skin colour or ethnic or cultural heritage.

Note that I do not use the word “race,” for we now know that all humans belong to one species – the human species known as “Homo sapiens.”

We are all members of the same biological family. We are all 99.9% genetically identical and the 0.1% that varies among us is not enough to divide humans into “races.”

We need a new name for “racism” to describe discrimination on the basis of culture or ethnicity, for there is no scientific basis to subdivide humans into different “races.”

Let’s acknowledge and celebrate that fact!

Allan McKeown

Sarnia


Enough: It’s time to end COVID-19 lockdown restrictions

Sir: For millennia, humanity has suffered Coronaviruses in many guises. A cure has never been found. Similar to the flu, COVID19 is proving no exception.

So why are lockdowns, social distancing, masks and “vaccines” being forced upon the public, contrary to our human rights?

Countries and areas that chose to maintain more normal lifestyles, (such as Belarus, Sweden and Florida) have experienced similar fatality rates, yet have incurred significantly less societal and economic decline.

What future do you want? Will you live in fear with masks, more masks, lockdowns, lockups, social leprosy, vaccinations and re-vaccinations for the next more mutant strain, all followed by a total economic collapse?

Or would you prefer a life that was normal one year ago?

Actually, the choice is yours. However, you have to make your voice heard loud and clear. Otherwise dystopian governmental policies and bylaws will continue.

Why wait until everyone is unemployed and civil society is no more?

Brian Wallace

Sarnia


Those vilifying Gladu didn’t hear what she said

Sir: After reading the scornful vilification Marilyn Gladu received from letter writers to your paper, and after reading her clearly expressed position, and after looking at Bill C-6, I am convinced that those throwing the accusatory stones find it easier to be influenced and stirred up by hearsay, than actually listening and considering whether she has a valid point.

No one, including Marilyn Gladu, disagrees with the stated intent of the bill. She is clear about vehemently opposing conversion therapy and supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

Walking in the pride parade was just one show of her support.

Her very legitimate disagreement is over the wording of the Bill. And no wonder.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has noted it violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“Bill C-6,” the Centre states, “removes the ability of health professionals and parents to determine treatments in the best interests of children who are experiencing gender distress. Bill C-6 instead imposes a one-size-fits-all treatment of social, hormonal and surgical gender transition. This is unreasonable state interference with children’s and parents’ Section 7 Charter rights to life, liberty and security of the person.”

Let any parent honestly put themselves in this scenario: Their pubescent or pre-pubescent child is experiencing gender confusion, (perhaps due to related themes taught at school), and wants to start life-altering hormone therapies.

The parent may believe it’s only a phase, and wants to counsel the child about the life-long and serious consequences of their decision, backed by testimonies of people racked with regret from similar rash decisions.

But, no, the law is against them.  The Liberals say that isn’t the Bill’s intent.  Great, everyone is in agreement.  Just write that clearly into the bill then.

For a chilling hint at the direction such a vague “well-intentioned” kind of law can lead, consider that the judge in a similar January, 2020 case in B.C. ruled against the father being able to stop his 13-year-old from continuing hormone therapy.

Ron Raes

Sarnia


Grateful for neighbours who clear their sidewalks

Sir: A heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to the home and property owners who take the time to shovel and salt their sidewalks.

The city has sidewalk snowplows, but as walkers will attest, they do a very unsatisfactory job.
The thoughtfulness of my neighbours makes it easier and safer to walk, and their kindness is very much appreciated.
For those who do not maintain their sidewalks, perhaps they would consider doing so?

Sincerely,

Claudette Gasbarini

Sarnia

 

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