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Letters: week of April 26

What's driving up gas prices? Sir: High gas prices got you down? Our friend and neighbour blames the evil "oil companies" who presumably have colluded to raise prices and bought off the politicians. Unfortunately, the truth is far less exciting.
Letters to the editor

What's driving up gas prices?

Sir: High gas prices got you down? Our friend and neighbour blames the evil "oil companies" who presumably have colluded to raise prices and bought off the politicians.

Unfortunately, the truth is far less exciting. While everyone knows the market sets the price of crude, no one understands that the market also sets the wholesale price of gasoline!

The oil companies, such as our local refineries, have no control over this price.

So what do the market analysts have to say for themselves? Evidently, in addition to the rising crude oil prices, the weekly EIA report shows demand for gasoline at its highest level in years.

Without much reason to do otherwise, the market is bidding up the price of wholesale gasoline. Our largely independent gas stations are forced to raise their prices to match, or lose their shirts.

So unless you want our government tinkering with the stock market, you'll just have to accept that the price at the pump is legit. Thank you,

Christopher Cooke


The Journal shouldn’t have published anti-abortion letter

Sir: In the Thursday, April 29, edition of our community newspaper, you gave letter writer C.B. Eagles a public forum in which to opine that “many babies have died in our local hospital.” The writer states that he/she “mourn(s) for these children.”

Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, women, as autonomous persons, have a right to control over their own bodies, and a right to decide to have a medical procedure to terminate a pregnancy. Furthermore, almost all elective abortions are performed at an early stage. Despite the rather popular monster magnification of embryos on protestors’ posters, the point of abortion is to stop, long before the minuscule embryo is viable, the process that results in labour and produces children.

It would be frightening and distressing for your newspaper to publish letters mourning the cessation of African slavery. It would be shocking and alarming for you to allow a reader to express a desire to eradicate First Nations peoples. It is also problematic to give a public platform to a point of view that removes autonomy of personhood from women and attempts to subvert the Law and the Charter.

Abortion has always been with us. The days of back-street bunglers and unnecessary deaths due to home remedies are gone. Abandoned newborns are an astounding rarity. With improved birth control, a mature approach to human sexuality, and an implicit understanding of the status of female humans as people, medically assisted and/or pharmacological terminations of pregnancies have also been decreasing exponentially.

Anyone may think what they will about abortion, slavery, racism, or any outdated view about women, but they are living in the past. Those old days - and the particular cruelties associated with forced pregnancy that went with them - are gone.

I urge you to treat writers as distressed as C.B. Eagles the same way you would a person who wrote to lament the “new” illegality of spousal abuse. Despite the guarantee of provoking readers, the decision to stir up an issue long settled reflects very badly on The Journal.

Yours sincerely,

C.M. Law

SCITS played part in educating five generations of my family

Sir: It all began when my mother Eva Jackson graduated with the first graduating class of the new Sarnia Collegiate Institute& Technical School.

When she married and became Eva Beauchamp she raised her five children on Talfourd Street, with the campus right across the road.

I am her middle child, and when I married and became Marian Lea, I was raising my family in Point Edward, and of course they all attended SCITS.

My oldest daughter Chris Brown raised her family on John Street in the south end, and three of her boys went to SCITS.

I was so happy when in September, 2017 the students of SCITS and St. Clair attended classes together in the SCITS building, because it gave my great-grandson Seth Brown the opportunity to begin his secondary school education in the same building that his great, great grandmother finished hers.

Marian Lea


It was a great year, even if the Sting did run out of honey

Sir: What a year it was for the Sarnia Sting.

A 14-game winning streak, 46 wins overall, 96 points.

We had two top scorers and a young defence that played over their heads and a never-give-up attitude.

We thought we had it all, more depth, more talent and a goalie that saw more rubber than Highway 401.

Was it an entertaining year? You bet it was.

Us regular fans, the 2,800 in the seats, wondered where all the rest of you were, until 4,000 showed up, cheering and yelling Go Sting Go.

The second playoff round opponent Kitchener was big and talented, and we should have buried them early. We didn’t and their big guns started to find the range.

I’m very proud of the Sarnia Sting, the players, the coaches, executive and all staff members. They really entertained us this year.

And next year we’re going to Round Three.

Finally, a special prayer to all the Humboldt families. We must keep them in our hearts and minds, and trust God’s peace at this time of need.

Cam Ross


Green candidate proposes solutions to rising electricity prices

Sir: The issue of rising hydro prices has turned into a political nightmare for Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government.

In a last ditch effort to appease voters, who will be heading to the polls on June 7, the Liberals offered up a 25% price reduction. Unfortunately, according to Auditor General Bonnie Lysk, this short-term benefit will end up costing the people of Ontario an estimated $4 billion in interest charges alone over the next 30 years.

Ontario governments have subsidized the price of power before. The Harris government froze electricity prices in the 1990s causing the Ontario Hydro debt to balloon to over $30 billion, resulting in the creation of the debt retirement charge. Eventually the “magic money” – unmanageable debt – runs out and the government of the day is forced to charge people the real price of electricity. So what’s to be done?

Importing more low cost hydroelectric power from Quebec as many northeastern states do would be a good start.

Secondly, government subsidies should be redirected from falsely lowering energy bills to helping home and business owners make their homes and buildings more energy efficient.

Finally, further investments in nuclear industry projects such as the Darlington rebuild should be stopped. The Ontario Clean Air Alliance recently discovered that Ontario Power Generation has applied to the Ontario Energy Board to increase rates for nuclear power by 180% by the year 2026, at which point the cost of nuclear would be 16.8¢/kWh.

Renewable energy combined with storage technology will be more cost-effective options by then.

The cost of our electricity system is going to increase no matter which party is in government. The status quo political parties aren’t talking about solutions to mitigate this fact. A wise government will make smart investments for the long-term benefit of our health and bank accounts.

Kevin Shaw


Sarnia-Lambton candidate, Green Party of Ontario

Half-baked criticism causes spiritual indigestion

Sir: Regarding the April 19 letter, “Preacher scaring the hell out of pedestrians.”

Freedom is the ability to express yourself in public. Chauvinistic groups have no problem expressing their self-preservation, so why can’t an altruist express his concerns for the wellbeing of fellow travellers on the path of life?

The letter-writer should give the preacher a break and find out what altruism is all about.

Jeff Williams