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Letters: week of Aug. 23

MP Marilyn Gladu is doing a terrific job in Ottawa Sir: I too would like to comment on the letters from Stanton Earle and C.M. Law criticizing our MP, Marilyn Gladu.
Letters to the editor

MP Marilyn Gladu is doing a terrific job in Ottawa

Sir: I too would like to comment on the letters from Stanton Earle and C.M. Law criticizing our MP, Marilyn Gladu.

I believe I speak for most Sarnia-Lambton voters when I say Marilyn is doing a terrific job and is doing us proud in Ottawa. Before Stanton Earle spews any more nonsense about Gladu and the Conservatives, he should look at the damage done over the past 15 years by the Ontario Liberals, and the past three years by that clown and embarrassment of a PM, Justin Trudeau.

Mr. Earle’s leftist views have no merit when one looks at the corruption and incompetence of the federal and provincial Liberals. He should give it a rest.

Greg Hamilton


Council a rubber-stamp for administration

Sir: Coun. Cindy Scholten couldn’t resist replying to a letter from Mr. Brian Wallace (July 12 edition) with respect to bicycle lanes.

She said his comment that council had “hobbled” the mayor was “entirely unfounded” and it was the mayor’s action had hobbled council for a time.

Well, of course, she is entitled to her opinion, albeit contrary to that of many.

Mr. Wallace’s experience was similar to that of numerous people who appeared before council and left believing their concerns had been heard and would be acted upon accordingly. However, regardless of what people wanted, council did what COUNCIL wanted to do.

Ms. Scholten took the opportunity to regurgitate how council ‘stood steadfast’ in creating a progressive and modern Sarnia, and ended by stating: “Your current council has a united approach with a broad vision.”

She neglected to mention this council imposed more taxes, incurred more debt and provided fewer services.

Agreed, their approach was ‘united.’  They appeared to vote as a body, usually sanctioning everything put before them by the city manager (oops – CAO).  I refer to that as rubber-stamping.

The good thing is she is not running for council again. I expect she saw the writing on the wall and decided to bow out rather than be voted out.

Too bad the rest of her cohorts did not do the same.

Bernice Rade


Irresponsible float-downers should pay for it themselves

Sir: The Journal has again reported on the annual river “Float Down.” No event makes me madder than this one.

Rather than “Float Down” it should be called the ‘Taxpayer Funded Annual Stupidity Event.

I pay my taxes willingly, if not always cheerfully, for local police to keep me safe, hospitals to keep me well, and schools to educate against stupidity.

I believe a portion of my federal taxes pays for the Coast Guard boats and helicopters. What wasn’t reported was the most crucial piece of information, that being this event’s cost to taxpayers.

It has no charitable or educational purpose. Instead, it is a chance for irresponsible, often intoxicated-in-public individuals to have a dangerous party unwillingly funded by me and I am sure thousands of other disgruntled taxpayers.

While our police, ambulances and fire personnel are tied up at this nonsense, aren’t the rest of us left endangered? What if someone had needed an ambulance for a legitimate reason and it was delayed? Does someone have to die?

Our schools desperately need repairs, Jackson and Pathway pools are closed because we can’t afford to repair them and some of our roads are in terrible condition. But nope, let’s spend taxpayers’ money on this!

If these morons – sorry, participants – are willing to take their lives into their own hands and get in that river, that is their right by way of free will. However, it is not my duty as a taxpayer to keep them safe.

With a dozen agencies involved, the powers that be are saying, “Sure, be stupid. We’ll look after you and pay for any emergencies.”

Who do we contact to register our protest? Hopefully, by force of public response, we can keep our tax dollars in the services that protect all of us, and not the irresponsible few.

Margot Gulliford


Sarnia needs new mayoral leadership with Anne Marie Gillis

Sir: An Aug. 9 letter invites Sarnians to vote for experience in the upcoming election and blames some of the current councillors for the problems at City Hall.

It is well documented that the mayor is the problem. He tried to explain his actions in The Journal on July 26, and I quote, “There needs to be a healthy tension (in the workplace) and it needs to be respectful. I understand that.”

He added: “But when you get sent to the penalty box in hockey they let you out after two to five minutes, right?”

After 30 years in office, an experienced leader wouldn’t have given this analogy about the workplace. A leader with integrity in the private sector would have resigned or been made to! Leadership can be defined as the ability to inspire and direct the entire team to share and achieve a common goal. Integrity, honesty and empathy are at the core of all good leaders.

For the next four years, we need new, progressive, honest, forward-thinking leadership, devoid of cronyism, with a mix of new and experienced councillors able to work with the same City Hall administrative staff.

The past four years have not been good, with mistakes made, misplaced loyalties, smoke-and-mirrors politics, genuine issues blurred and poorly written contracts. Despite this and the costs to alleviate a toxic work environment, new initiatives to comply with OHSA have been formalised and a stable workplace facilitated by Anne Marie Gillis.

Annual increases for all those paid from the public purse must be realistic. This can ensure a coherent, cohesive City Hall can produce a viable asset management plan for the benefit of every Sarnia resident, a city we can be prouder of under the progressive leadership of Anne Marie Gillis.

The last election, a poor turnout showed young families and young singles weren’t well represented. This is their chance to have their voice heard.

With their support for Anne Marie Gillis, Sarnia can be the “go to” destination for businesses and visitors, and a great home for their family’s future.

Peter Clarke


Girls’ group comprised of great young community leaders

Sir: On July 28, my daughter Evelyn and I set out for a garage sale I had been invited to in London. The event was organized by a remarkable group of young ladies from Sarnia known as the ‘Girls Giving Back.’

Raveena Duggal (11), Diya Duggal (8), Amelia Glazier (11) and Aliya Dennis (12) have been fundraising for charities since November, 2016. They have a desire to help girls who lack the amenities they have, and have organized several fundraisers to contribute to the “Because I Am a Girl” initiative of Plan International Canada.

Locally, they have run fundraisers benefitting the Women’s Interval Home and Canadian Cancer Society of Sarnia-Lambton.

Through planning their fundraisers, the girls have learned how to deliver presentations at school, to request permission for events, how to promote events and manage the money raised. In total, the group has raised $4,000, which multiplies to $19,000 through a matching program for the “Because I’m a Girl” initiative.

They have been recognized by MP Marilyn Gladu and named to the Mayor’s Honour List. Needless to say, I was eager to see these girls in action.

At the sale, I was shown a formal green folder containing a letter awarded minutes earlier from the House of Commons and delivered in person by MP Peter Fragiskatos.

Despite the latest acclaim, these girls couldn’t have been more grounded, welcoming us and eagerly explaining their posterboards outlining the achievements of ‘Because I’m a Girl.’

In addition to selling their toys (some are now part of Evelyn’s collection), the girls sold products from small businesses they started to further their fundraising.

Raveena and Diya have started Princess Boutique Designs featuring handmade beauty products. Aliya started ‘Snap Photography,’ selling her perspective of Sarnia’s natural treasures. Several are now posted in Evelyn’s nursery.

Not only are they beautiful, they remind me of the great young leaders and role models we have in our community to look up to and be inspired by.

Meghan Reale


May the most capable mayoral candidate win the next election

Sir: As a frequent visitor of downtown I often see mayoral candidate Anne Marie Gillis’ campaign slogan, “Leadership Matters,” and still wonder how to interpret it.

The word ‘matters’ can mean troubles or difficulties – such as “what’s the matter?” Matters can mean things or topics, or something of importance.

The first interpretation (leadership difficulties) is not desired; nor is the offer of a form of mayoral leadership – as council won’t want to be led, they will just want to be involved and included.

That leaves the last interpretation of Gillis’ position as mayor, assumed important. This is amusing given her conduct over the past few years, inflating conflict and now offering to fix things if elected.

The only way for Gillis to fix her issues is to stop adding obstacles at City Hall and drop the conflict already. Gillis and others have gone out of their way to punish and exclude – and in doing so, it seems, these individuals have also punished and excluded themselves.

What really matters is the candidate has clarity, a desire to recognise and correct the real shortcomings in City Hall, and a long-term vision for the city.

We don’t need a continued intent to bring any amount of damage and cost to others for personal benefit. May the most capable candidates win the next election.

Nick Wallace


Let the renaming of the marina be a good sign for all of us

Sir: It has been reported that the Sarnia Bayside Marina will be named after Andy Brandt.

A more deserving Sarnia citizen does not spring to mind. His accomplishments have been well publicized and need no further elaboration, except to add that he played, and I hope still plays, a mean accordion.

Allow me a word of caution. It is to be hoped the city will erect a sign that is deserving of Andy and his service to this great city. Please, spare us abominations like the plywood horror that graces the Sarnia Chris Hadfield Airport.

I have attempted, unsuccessfully so far, to correct that and am getting too old to have to undertake another campaign on Andy's behalf. Yours for a Better Sarnia.

Steve Souwand