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Letters, week of Nov. 19

Loose cat killing our birds, chipmunk Sir: Why oh why is it that people who are very law-abiding citizens, those who would never break the law (you would think) believe that the City Pet Bylaw does not apply to them or their cat.
Letters to the editor

Loose cat killing our birds, chipmunk

Sir: Why oh why is it that people who are very law-abiding citizens, those who would never break the law (you would think) believe that the City Pet Bylaw does not apply to them or their cat.

I have several birdhouses and enjoy watching the birds in spring getting the eggs hatched, and then the young ones learning to fly. However, some fall from the nest onto the garden until they get the hang of getting airborne.

Sometime what’s left of these is a small amount of tiny feathers, after the cat has its breakfast. Or, like today, it had one of our chipmunks for lunch.

Of course, if asked, our neighbour would probably say, "Love birds, even like chipmunks." Nor would our neighbour know about the smell on a hot day arising for beneath our window where the cat has been.

Dogs have to be licensed, why not cats?  If your cat gets run over would you be sorry you let it out?  But that's the chance you take, eh.

What if a bigger animal, and we have them loose in the area (coyotes) thinks your pussycat would make a really nice lunch? Or you cat tangles with the skunk we have around here. The skunk had a go at my little dog when we had it and it took days to clean up. Don’t know how you clean up a cat.

What if we sprayed the stray cat with one of the high pressure water guns the great grandchildren keep here, would that be OK?

If you are the owner of a cat you let loose in my street, know that we are thinking of getting a cage and taking your cat to the Humane Society.

If your cat doesn’t come home one day, perhaps you might call the Humane Society.

How many more people have this problem, I wonder?

After today’s incident, we really are thinking of getting a cat cage.

Jack Western 



Thank you, for saving our lives

Sir: My name is Casandra Parker. Ten years ago my family and I survived a catastrophic motor vehicle accident.

My brother, Adrian Mckeage, suffered head injuries with a broken nose and cheekbone. I had a depressed skull fracture and a collapsed lung.

The Jaws of life were used to remove me from the vehicle, and we were airlifted to SickKids Hospital, where immediate brain surgery was performed.

My mom suffered bruising and the emotional trauma of seeing her two children in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. I spent six months in hospital recovering and relearning basic functions such as speaking, eating, walking, etc.

SickKids took very good care of my brother and I.

In August, we marked the 10-year anniversary with a celebration and fundraiser, with catering and a live band. With the help of online donations we raised $1,700 for the SickKids Foundation.

My boyfriend Tomas Robertson and I presented the cheque to the hospital personally.

We would like to sincerely thank everyone for their donations and support. Your contributions helped me fulfill my lifelong dream of giving back to SickKids Hospital for saving our lives.

Never give up hope, for one day your dreams will come true.

Casandra Parker



Upset at City Hall marriage decision

Sir: I have lived in Sarnia for 19 years and been a licensed wedding Officiant with Bluewater Weddings for 18 of those years.

The reason I came to Sarnia was to work with my Dad, Jack Western, who had just retired from the Sarnia Court House. At that time, wedding ceremonies had ceased to be performed at the Court House.

I am upset that after all these years City Hall now "steps up to the plate" and wants to fill a void? What void?

My fees are comparable and I also offer a non-religious ceremony that is personal and dignified. I am not the only person in Sarnia who is a Wedding Officiant, therefore I do not believe that a "void" exists.

People have to go to City Hall to get a Marriage Licence to be able to get married. If they have not bothered to look for an Officiant, then of course they are likely to ask if someone at City Hall does such a service.

Just last week one of the couples that "inquired" at City Hall came directly to us. It is not like there is no one else that could help them.

I would have liked to have been at the council meeting when council members voted on this decision. At least I could have had a chance to speak up for myself, and perhaps other questions would have been answered.

It would be interesting to know why six council members voted to have weddings performed at City Hall. Did these council members do their homework??

Perhaps I sound like "sour grapes." Yep! I do. I have put a lot of time, planning, effort, and yes, money, into my business and would like to keep it running.

I presently compete against a larger wedding officiant company that has moved into the Sarnia area, and I hope my reputation will keep me afloat.

In communication with Mayor Mike Bradley last week I suggested that City Hall's need to break back into the business "may just sink that boat."

Barbara Western Pajuk



Gladu’s language is divisive

Sir: Sadly, some of the first published comments from our newly elected MP Marilyn Gladu continue the long history of rather caustic and confrontational comments that tend to polarize more than communicate.

Ironically, as a new federal representative she has immediately chosen to speak at length on provincial politics, describing Ontario as an “economic train wreck” and the only “stupid one” amongst the other provinces.

Many Canadians have just voiced the desire for a revitalized political process that certainly allows for the challenging of policy, but that also re-establishes the civility and effective communication that finally gets us beyond demeaning and abrasive commentary. Sweeping and denigrating condemnations by democratically elected representatives do little to engender respect from those they seek to lead. In fact, it has been the kind of conduct that does nothing to contribute to effective change and has driven many Canadians away from participation in our fragile democracy.

I would encourage Ms. Gladu to give her very best efforts to demonstrating the kind of communication and conduct that constituents would be proud to have their children see. Our community needs leadership that consistently mirrors the integrity of democracy’s spirit and engenders openness to new and meaningful communication styles. Surely our citizenry deserves commentary that engenders the exploration of ideas for the development of a better Canada, rather than simply promoting divisiveness and entrenched partisanship for the sake of power.

Rosanne Orcutt



Sarnia a winner at Communities in Bloom

Sir: Communities in Bloom Is a not-for-profit Canadian organization dedicated to the continuous improvement of communities, by their people.

They do this by being involved in displays of civic pride and improving quality of life, with an acute sense of environmental awareness and sustainability.

CIB created a friendly competition to provide a framework of excellence for municipalities to judge themselves, and each other, at the provincial and national level. As well, Communities in Bloom Canada worked to create an International competition with countries that have similar programs.

The local CIB committee is volunteer-driven and its members act as ambassadors for our city. We are dedicated to civic pride, respect for our heritage and environment, and work to improve the local economy by showcasing the community.

I re-introduced the program in 2006 with the goal of advancing the city to become provincial winners, national winners and international winners by 2016.

We exceeded that goal by achieving everything that we set out to do by 2015.

Over the last nine years we have formed partnerships with Tourism Sarnia-Lambton, the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce, Sarnia-Lambton Environmental Association, Essex Kent Lambton Goodwill Industries, Aamjiwnaang First Nation and local school boards. We have been sponsored by local Industry and businesses large and small, and showcased Bluewater Health, the Alix Art Gallery, Lambton College and the expansiveness of our city.

We have been judged by experts in city planning, landscape architecture, past mayors and current councillors and senior government administrators who travel the country and assign marks to those cities invited to compete.

Judges have come to Sarnia from all across Canada, the United States and Europe, and they all agree we have a beautiful city that can compete and win on the world stage.

As a result, Sarnia is the International Champion for 2015. So let's celebrate!

See our trophy, a gift from the National Capital Commission of Canada, displayed on the third floor of City hall.

Anne Marie Gillis

City/County Councillor


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