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LETTER: Small business owner deserves better

'Sometimes doing the legal thing is not always the best option when it comes to saving livelihoods of local business employees.'
Kirkland Blake says he will have to shut down his detailing business if the city insists on removal of three tents on his Lakeshore Road property. (Cathy Dobson photo)

The Journal received the following letter to the editor in response to the Dec. 11 story: Large tent dust-up with city hall could bankrupt small business.

Recently I have been following the story regarding the small business owner at the corner of Lakeshore and Colborne roads. Apparently due to a single complaint, a bylaw enforcement officer, who did his job and enforced the bylaw, meant huge fines for the tenant.

I typically go by this business regularly and can tell you first hand, he kept his property neat and tidy. I have read the bylaws and see the way it is written it would put this business in non compliance.

With the economy the way it is, as well as what we have been through in the pandemic, I believe an exemption could have been made.

We did not need an amendment, but an exemption.

Over the years this business has always been either a gas station, mechanical garage, or tire shop. Which by the way, I wonder if the current single, complaint was also the same person who complained about the tire shop?

If there had been multiple complaints, then I would totally understand council’s decision.

Sometimes doing the legal thing is not always the best option when it comes to saving livelihoods of local business employees.

I commend both Mr. Vandenberg and Mr. Dennis for trying to accommodate the business by attempting to persuade the council to intervene. As far as the rest of the council, you will never get my vote, if you can’t understand that Sarnia now relies heavily on small business. If you can’t see the benefit of helping Sarnia’s economy to grow through small business then you don’t understand Sarnia.

Again a simple exemption rather than an amendment would have avoided a shutdown of this small business. Perhaps there are other solutions to accommodate the law as well as the tenant?

In the case my heart goes out to this business and these employees who lost their income during the holiday season!

C’mon Sarnia - do better!

Robert Delion