Skip to content

Letters: week of Dec. 6

Allied victory allowed for second chance in Canada Sir: This Remembrance Day made me aware of how much I have to thank all of the soldiers and their families who sacrificed their lives to liberate Germany from the Nazi regime.

Allied victory allowed for second chance in Canada

Sir: This Remembrance Day made me aware of how much I have to thank all of the soldiers and their families who sacrificed their lives to liberate Germany from the Nazi regime.

I was nine-years-old in 1945, and had the war continued I most likely would have had to go to war and be killed.

So again, a huge Thank You to all the Allies. I was able to come to our beautiful country Canada 62 years ago and become a proud Canadian.

John Helle


Providing bilingual services here a waste of taxpayer dollars

Sir: I would have to disagree with the statement in Christopher Ralph’s guest column of Nov. 29 that "French-language services are cheap and do not affect our (colossal) budget deficit in any meaningful way."

A study done by the Fraser institute in 2012 calculated the cost at $2.4 billion a year: $1.5 billion federally and $870 million by the provinces.

Care to venture a guess at which province spent the least on bilingual services? Quebec at $7 per English-speaking person, compared to Ontario at $52 per each Francophone.

I lived and worked in Ottawa for several years as a civil servant and witnessed first hand how Official Bilingualism costs the Canadian taxpayer a ridiculous amount of money, and how English-speaking Canadians are being deprived the right to work or get promoted within the federal public service.

There are many parts of Ontario and Canada where the French language is virtually nonexistent, yet full bilingual service must be provided.

Translation services alone cost us hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Who reads them?

As far as Mr. Ralphs comment that the French settled Sarnia, it’s ridiculous. I agree the French explorer LaSalle arrived in the area in 1679, but as far as settlers go, Sarnia was mainly settled by Scottish and English immigrants.

In the 2011 census, 87.92% of Sarnians identified English as their mother tongue, compared to 2.65% for French.

What about all of the new immigrants to Canada whose mother tongue is neither French or English? I think there should be one official language, English, which is much less expensive and more universally recognized.

Mr. Ralph's article reminded me of Charles De Gaulle's infamous "Vive le Québec libre" comment back in 1967. He is entitled to his opinion but shouldn't be stirring up trouble in this or any other city in Ontario.

I think we should be outraged that the Ontario Liberals were going to spend even more of our tax dollars on a French University. How many hundreds of millions would that have cost to build and operate?

Gerald MacKinnon


How fluoride works to prevent dental cavities

Sir: Do anti-fluoride groups read any scientific papers indicating the benefit of fluoride?

Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, is a breakdown of teeth<> due to acids made by bacteria<>.[6]<>

Under cariogenic conditions, carbohydrates are converted to acids by bacteria in the plaque biofilm. When the pH drops below 5.5, the biofilm fluid becomes undersaturated with phosphate ion and enamel dissolves to restore balance. When fluoride (F-) is present, fluorapatite is incorporated into demineralized enamel and subsequent demineralization is inhibited.

Adapted from: Cury, 2009.31<>

Fluoride, at a relatively low concentration, may also interact with the oral bacteria to reduce plaque acid production.

George Boccanfuso

Professor, Lambton College


Theft of Christmas lights from front yard disheartening

Sir: A Grinch stole one of our Christmas light displays from our front lawn last week.

I am hoping that he or she needed it more than we did and they were not stealing it to sell for drug money.

If they stole it to sell for groceries, I would have preferred they knock on our door. I would have given them groceries to help out.

Christmas decorations and lights are our way of celebrating our Lord and Saviour’s birth.

I hope they remember that next time when deciding whether or not to steal from someone's display.

A very sad Christian,

Marianne Bustard


Yes, of course Sarnia should approve cannabis retail stores

Sir: City council should approve cannabis retail stores!

Just think in terms of another government-controlled drug – alcohol. We have The Beer Store and LCBO where adults can make purchases, so let's compare the situation. No stores ="dry county" = bootleggers = drug dealers.

Only people with a credit card and a computer can order cannabis (alcohol). Someone wants to order a bottle of wine for a holiday meal but has to wait for it to come in the mail (postal strike).

It is finally delivered but it is stolen from their mailbox. Grinch!

I think having a cannabis store would help deter crime, hard drug use, alcoholism, and violence.

Also, think of the tourist dollars the area will miss out on if we don’t have a cannabis store. Open a store in time for the holidays and have a Happy New Year.


Lorraine Cheney


Growing food on school lands would benefit students, community

Sir: I would like to add my thoughts to Caleb Mackinnon’s Nov. 15 letter, “Better use of idle land could help build sustainable Community.”

I have had similar thoughts regarding better use of open space in Sarnia, but would like to narrow the focus to vacant land and open spaces controlled by the school boards around most of our schools in Sarnia.

The news, both local and regional, has stories about “before school breakfast programs” and “lunches for learning” programs. Why not take some of the vacant land at school locations and dedicate it to the production of vegetables and produce that could be eaten at those schools, or better yet, sold to the citizenry surrounding those schools?

This program would create character-building activities for students. One unfortunate effect of populations shifting from rural to urban settings is children and parents get further and further away from primary food production.

By having “mini-farms” at schools, students would get a preliminary education in agriculture.

Another advantage would be showing students there is nothing wrong with working toward something if there is a need. Life can be hard and seemingly unjust at times. If one is able, it makes sense to ease the burden of your family or a community member.

Self-reliance is a wonderful characteristic to see developed in children of all ages. When they plan and sell their produce, many life lessons will be afforded them.

Carried out correctly, this could be a legacy for our students and our community. What we need is effort from students, schools, parents and local citizens who believe hard work teaches valuable life lessons.

Wayne L. Pease


Christmas at my house a blend of traditions

Sir: I grew up in a home where the Christmas season was a little different.  My mother came from strong Newfoundland and English stock while my father was Jewish and could trace his roots back to Minsk, Russia.

One day we might have a Jiggs dinner (corn beef and cabbage) and the next day Blintzes (crepes stuffed with cottage cheese, cinnamon and sugar).

The cookie jar would be filled with thick molasses cookies, but in the pantry there was always a huge jar of kosher dill pickles made by Bubbe, my Jewish Grandmother.

A week before Christmas we all went to the tree lot and picked out our tree, usually pine or spruce.  We brought it home and stood it in the corner.

My dad always drove a nail in the wall and tied it to the wall much to the dismay of my mother. But his job every year was to place the angel on the top of the tree.

However, one year he threw the tree out after Christmas and forgot to remove the angel. I don't think my mother ever quite forgave him for that.

On Christmas Day, after we opened our presents we sat down for our big dinner, put on our funny paper hats, and thanked God for the bounty on our table.

Some would say we had the works - turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, creamed turnip and carrots. But the first thing you heard was "Pass the bagels, please."

To all, a Happy Hanukkah and a Merry Christmas

Betty Miles


Join the Community: Receive Our Daily News Email for Free