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Letters: week of Mar. 5

Pipeline protest from local Indigenous community confusing Sir: I'm confused.
Letters to the editor

Pipeline protest from local Indigenous community confusing

Sir: I'm confused. Aren’t Sarnia’s native people being hypocritical when they protest against pipelines?

Sarnia’s Chemical Valley has so many pipelines, and the band is involved with them through contracts.

Since Sarnia hasn't had a pipeline spill, shouldn't we be commending our companies, and maybe let the B.C. chiefs know it’s been done here for years with no problems.

Maybe I'm not the only one who is confused and doesn't understand the position of Sarnia’s native people.

Thank you.

Laurie Edwards



City councillors, approve photo radar at your own risk

Sir: I realize local politicos, police forces and do-gooders have short memories, but before they set up the cash cow known as photo radar in Sarnia school zones — where they also intend to drop the speed limit — they should think back to the photo-radar traps set up on 400-series highways a few years ago.

Photo radar was dumped after the province, OPP and provincial politicians figured out it had turned the province, the OPP and the provincial politicians into despised, detested, disliked, hated, unpopular, greedy money-grubbers in the eyes of at least half the driving population.

Local politicos who vote for this proposed cash cow could have short terms in power.

I assume the police are comfortable with being unpopular and the goody two-shoes are used to being disliked.

But it might just be a good idea to be careful with photo radar. We have enough despised groups in our society already.

Cam Lewis



Homeowner surprised by rapidly rising insurance premiums

Sir: People should look at their home insurance policy carefully. They may find the premiums they’re paying on their home, contents, detached buildings, liability, etc., are based in inflated values.

It starts with the value the insurer places on your home (without ever seeing it). Then they take a percentage of this value to determine the value of other insurable assets and the coverage they will provide, should the need arise.

All of the companies, it seems, are offering these “packages,” and if you have a mortgage, you need insurance.

The policies I’ve been offered contained hugely overstated values, and assets and services that were not needed.

Insurance policies also contain a deduction clause that discourages the policyholder from making a claim for relatively minor losses, such as from a break and enter or loss of property.

I have been trying to get some answers from politicians, but so far to no avail.

Quite often people don’t scrutinize their insurance policy, they just accept it, until a huge premium increase appears. When that happened to me recently I looked into it and was alarmed by what I saw.

John Parker



New Crown Corporation needed to take on oilsands project

Sir: Teck Resources pulling out of a proposed oilsands project presents a wonderful opportunity to create a 51% Canadian Crown-owned operation.

The remaining 49% could to be assigned to competent partners, which could include caisses, Indigenous groups and the provinces.

The Crown Corporation would need to have some smart people running it to maintain oversight and keep the partners in check.

The partners would get 49% of the revenue, and the Crown Corporation 51%, to be used for smart social programs, not pandering to interest groups.

This is the model used by Qatar — 51% state ownership of generally every project, generating a huge trade surplus every month.

This is the only viable alternative for the resource-rich "agglomeration of provincialities" that some call Canada.

A 51% Canadian Crown Corp. would take the "provincialities" out of it and makes it a federal "play."

That or go hug a tree. And die in the forest.

Zbigniew Roman Pedzinski



Exporting natural gas will add to global warming

Sir: Some politicians are claiming Canada should export Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to help countries like China and India reduce coal consumption and thereby reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

But is it really as beneficial as they suggest, or just an excuse for selling more gas?

At first glance this may look like a good idea, because natural gas is a cleaner fuel than coal. In addition to all the particulate and heavy metals etc. emitted by coal, natural gas only emits about half as much carbon dioxide (CO2) for the same amount of energy.

In addition, if electricity generation is the goal, a natural gas-fired combined cycle gas turbine plant only emits about a third of that from an equivalent coal-fired plant.

Natural gas is shipped as LNG because it takes up far less space. But to liquefy natural gas it has to be cooled to below -162°C and then warmed up at the other end. This alone consumes 20% to 40% of the gas being transported, to which we need to add emissions from shipping.

But the real problem is the fugitive emissions (multiple small leaks around wellheads, valve stems, vents, etc.). Natural gas consists almost exclusively of methane, a very powerful GHG gas in its own right that the IPCC rates as 96 times more potent than CO2 over a 20-year period.

Methane is a major contributor to global warming and the atmospheric concentration is now two and a half times its preindustrial level.

A recent study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that an average of 2.3% of the gas removed from wells in the U.S. was leaking into the atmosphere. Even if leakage rates are no higher in developing countries, this is still more than triples the emissions impact of natural gas.

In early December I sent a more detailed analysis to some of the politicians promoting LNG, asking them to let me know if my assumptions and calculations are incorrect.

Not one of them has responded so far. Exporting LNG will accelerate global warming, not slow it.

Peter R. Smith



Sarnia Transit official made up for action of hasty bus driver

Sir: In early January on a typically brutal weather day I walked from my apartment to the Northgate shopping plaza.

There, I was besieged both by the squally wind and a Sarnia Transit driver arriving ahead of schedule.

Another pedestrian and I were making out way toward the bus shelter when a northbound bus entered Northgate from Exmouth Street.

The driver of the fast-approaching bus must have seen two men rushing headlong to meet him, yet he passed us by and, to boot, carried on his way.

The other pedestrian was a Finnish man (as he identified himself) in much better physical shape, and he and I expressed full-throated expressions of outrage at the driver’s effrontery and, indeed, arrogance.

I called the Sarnia Transit inspector and he was sincerely remorseful and promised to deal with the matter.

I told him of a heart attack I suffered in 2015 and the double-bypass surgery that followed, and he seemed to feel it was a difficult situation all around.

The inspector was generous and gave me two complimentary bus passes. Whether the Finnish man was treated similarly is not known.

Richard Sourkes



Lazy people, not plastic, causing pollution

Sir: Regarding Laurie Trombley’s letter of Feb. 6, “Here are some ideas for Sarnia: What if …”

She asked, what if Sarnia said no more to plastic water bottles and straws?

Last November I took a stroll near the lighthouse tower looking for a place to go fishing, but instead decided to walk the beachfront to see how true the reports were of plastic beach pollutants.

I found, on the entire beach, two plastic water bottles, three bottle caps, two torn grocery bags, and a few wood pieces.

Plastic is a pollutant, there is no question about that. But surely no one believes those things walked there by themselves.

Someone, somebody, brought it there. The plastic itself is not the problem, it is the people who made it a pollutant.

I also looked for garbage and recycle bins. I found one pair at the center of the beach, hundreds of yards away from each end of the beach.

I found another pair located on the south end, hidden behind bushes.

So how did this plastic become a pollutant?

I believe ignorant people, coupled with the failure of municipal administration to recognize some people are lazy, are the real problems. Not the plastic.


Marcelo B. Villanueva Jr. 


Struggling to survive on ODSP

Sir: As a person with cerebral palsy, I’d like to know why the Ontario Disability Support Program does not include an annual cost of living increase.

I sent Premier Doug Ford a letter and asked him: With the cost of rent, property taxes and other essentials on the rise, how are people with disabilities supposed to survive?

Meanwhile, Ontario is losing billions of dollars of revenue each year with so many of its people spending all winter in Florida.

Jeff Williams

Bright’s Grove

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