Week of September 16

Builders and developers are contributing to housing shortage

Sir: Mario Fazio’s guest column of Sept. 9 (“Government caused housing mess and now wants to fix it?”) caught my interest.

Mr. Fazio puts the blame on governments and their environmental and archeological regulations, while absolving developers, builders and foreign buyers of blame.

But we should look at the situation: urban areas are gaining population due to the concentration of jobs. Since people working in those jobs don’t want to commute hours between their workplace and home, they look for homes close to their work, and that’s in urban and suburban areas where available land is limited.

Without absolving the others in Mr. Fazio’s list, let me suggest that developers and builders must shoulder most of the blame.

An example is not proof, but one useful illustration is the new homes built and planned on Blackwell Road. Though intended to be single-family residences, they are huge.

Nearly twice as many smaller houses could be built on the same land, providing homes for many more families, including “empty nesters.”

Developers and builders are contributing to housing shortages by wasting land resources in and around cities.

If they reply: “That’s what the customers wants,” they should also state how many 800-to-1000 square-foot houses they’ve build in recent years that remain unsold.

People buy McMansions because they have limited choice.

John Timar

Bright’s Grove


Canada’s flawed electoral system needs to be reformed

Sir: Proportional Representation. Most people don’t understand what it is or realize there IS another, fairer way for our votes to be counted.

One of our Fair Vote Canada volunteers, an elderly lady raised in a politically aware family, was stunned to discover the method we use for ascertaining a majority party isn’t one that necessarily indicates what the people actually voted for.

She understood that was how ALL free and democratic countries vote. It is not.

We need change. People are apathetic about voting because it really doesn’t matter who they vote for, Toronto will always dictate the winner of the election.

Western provinces have every right to be furious and shouting for separation when, for all intents and purposes, our elections are “rigged.”

This is why people have come together to promote Fair Vote Canada.

Changing our method of voting will change our elections and make people eager to get to the polls and make themselves heard – maybe for the first time.

Volunteers are currently walking the neighborhoods of Sarnia-Lambton and leaving door hangers explaining how Proportional Representation works.

There are currently 250,000 door hangers across Canada, trying to get the message out.

Please, call your elected representatives and find out where they stand on Proportional Representation. Call them until they give you an answer. Let them know it’s time for a change and your vote DOES count. Respectfully,

Shelby Sim

Sarnia


Get the facts about the parties, and then vote

Sir: Canada’s unwarranted federal election is just days away and coming at a cost of $600 million to taxpayers, at a time the government should be concentrating on protecting its citizens from the next COVID-19 onslaught.

The vying political parties have been and continue to put forward their promises.

As an informed voter, I am more concerned about a party’s hidden agenda than what they promise to do through fear mongering.

Laying aside a voter’s personal political preferences, an informed vote should be based upon what we know is factual about a party, not projected fear mongering.

We are fortunate to live in a country where we are free to vote for a party of our choice, and the freedom to access information that enables us to make an informed decision.

As s Franklin D. Roosevelt once said: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Phil Nelson

Sarnia


Making vaccinations mandatory for all is an injustice

Sir: A great injustice is happening here in Canada, which is known to be a free country and protective of human rights.

After the COVID-19 vaccines became available Canadians flocked like sheep to the front of the line to get their shots, as encouraged by doctors and governments.

But these vaccines were created in a panic for governments around the world trying to stop the spread of a nasty virus. But have they been tested for long-term side effects? No!

It’s seldom mentioned that, because of time constraints, no one knows for sure what side effects could occur five or 10 years from now.

When flu shots come out each year they’ve been tested for long-term side effects. So we must respect the decision of some Canadians who don’t want to put a vaccine in their body prior to long-term testing.

Some provinces are making it mandatory to be vaccinated for people to keep their jobs in sectors other than health care and the civil service.

Now, they want to make it mandatory to enter a restaurant? This is wrong.

Though governments want to assume these vaccines are 100% safe, an assumption can be a dangerous thing.

Please, respect the human rights of individuals who do not want to be injected with COVID-19 vaccines, and don’t make them mandatory except in certain areas, such as health care.

Greg Hamilton

Sarnia