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Letters, week of Jan. 8

Frustrated by homeless shelter closure Sir: Thank you George Mathewson for exposing the abuse of taxpayer's money in the homeless court fight. And for exposing the sad “not in my neighbourhood” mentality of some residents here on Mitton Street.
Letters to the editor

Frustrated by homeless shelter closure

Sir: Thank you George Mathewson for exposing the abuse of taxpayer's money in the homeless court fight.

And for exposing the sad “not in my neighbourhood” mentality of some residents here on Mitton Street.

Most people don't choose to be homeless. And River City Vineyard was kind enough to open its doors to help those who are struggling.

Rather than encourage the city to support your right to deny them a bed for the night, why wouldn't you encourage the city to help support this organization by using the funds they've wasted in court in a fashion that helps them?

I live on Mitton south of the Vineyard. In the past year I've seen a lot of homeless on the streets. Where would you have them go?

How about a shelter on the other side of Highway 402? Better yet, the edge of town. Perfect. They won't be able to get there easily, but at least you won't need to see them.

My attitude towards the selfish behaviour of people with a roof over their heads has everything to do with the reluctance they show in supporting all aspects of our community. And that includes improving the quality of life of those less fortunate than ourselves.

Shelby Sim



It's more than a Christian country

Sir: Re: Christian traditions lost

I read Daniel Marshall's letter to the editor and had to re-read it, shaking my head.

I think we are very lucky to live in such a unique country that is Canada. We are a multicultural country that accepts immigrants from the far-reaching corners of the world, regardless of colour, ethnic background and, yes, religion.

Yes, there is religious radicalism practised around the world and also here in Canada, and I agree that it is not acceptable. But for me to "band together" for renewed Christian fellowship is also not acceptable for myself either.

I believe in a person's right to believe in a higher being or to not believe. Not everyone in this country is a Christian and not everyone celebrates Christmas.

I find it quite acceptable to say Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings or even dare I say, Happy Holidays.

The underlying tone of the letter basically is saying, in my opinion, accept our Christian faith or you cannot become a Canadian.

I don't know about you, but that letter sure has that smell of intolerance to it.


Doug Schilz



Drive Clean program no fairy tale

Sir: How do you sue the government?

We are all aware of the mismanagement and inappropriate funding of our tax dollars. We can also add discrimination with “vehicle emission testing.”

All over Ontario there are regions that are exempt from testing. Why should Jill need her car tested and Jack does not?

This is not a fairy tale. I would challenge the government to disclose these exempt areas and correct or drop the program.

One thing has been accomplished with these blunders. They have created more work to have them corrected, at great expense.

D. W. Marshall

Bright’s Grove


Man’s donation a true act of charity

Sir: Every year, for as many as I can remember, just before Christmas a gentleman walks into our office and hands me an envelope.

Inside the envelope is cash. Every year I ask him his name so that I can give him a receipt and every year he says that isn’t what it’s about. This is a real act of charity.

This gentleman gets nothing in return for his donation other than a handshake and my feeble attempt to wish him a Merry Christmas.  As an organization, we do not receive any ongoing government support for our mentoring programs. We rely entirely on the generosity of our community.

On behalf of our entire organization and especially the children and youth that we serve each and every year, I would once again like to wish this gentleman and all of our many other supporters a Merry Christmas.

One day perhaps he will enlighten me as to what prompted this act of kindness so many years ago.

Mike Hurry

Executive Director

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sarnia-Lambton


Column evokes shopping memories

Sir: Re: Nadine Wark’s guest column.

I enjoyed her story about Christmas shopping downtown in the stores I remember well.

My family moved from Montreal to Sarnia in 1951 when I was 11. I loved Sarnia right from the start. It felt like living in the country, although my older brothers thought it was the “sticks.”

It was 1952/53 and I went downtown with my mother, who was looking for a new dress for herself. She was very short, at 4 foot 11, but round, so finding the perfect dress was hard.

My dad had given her $50 to buy one, which was a lot of money then.

It was Friday evening and we shopped and found a nice dress at Reese’s ladies wear. Then we went to Kresge’s to shop more and sat at the counter to have a snack and drink.

I put the box with the dress in it on the ledge under the counter and we chatted and ate, then left to catch the bus back home to Bluewater.

When we arrived home mom wanted to show my dad her new dress – oops, I had forgotten to pick it up.

Mom called Kresge’s but they were closed, so the next morning she called again, and no parcel had been found.

My name was mud for a few days. My parents forgave me but I never forgot it.

So that’s one of my experiences of shopping at Christmas time. We always hoped that whoever found that dress needed it worse than my mom did.

PS: My dad went down and bought another dress and wrapped it and put it under the tree.

Margaret Hughes



Recyclables blown all over street

Sir: I am a homeowner on the south side of Wellington Street in Sarnia.  My garbage/recycling pick-up day was Wednesday, Dec. 31st.

The north side of Wellington’s recycling all got picked up that day.  Our side did not. With the winds there was plastic, paper, and cardboard blowing all over Sarnia.

This will now become garbage on our streets because I have noticed most people will not pick it up. They just leave it for someone else to pick up.

I lost a whole bag of cardboard and paper to the wind. The bag was destined to be recycled, but I fear now it will end in the landfill (if it even gets picked up).

Every other week I recycle what is allowed in the hopes of making a small dent in the garbage problem of our planet.  I only put out one bag of garbage every other week because I recycle and compost.

On Jan. 1 the recycle truck finally emptied the recycle bins on our side of Wellington Street .

Is Jan. 1 not a holiday? Does that mean employees are paid overtime wages?

I have to wonder if maybe they stopped working early on New Year’s Eve. Maybe if they had finished their job on the day it was supposed to be done there would be a little less garbage destroying our planet today.


Natalie Andrews