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Letters: week of Oct. 10

Orange shirts honoured school children Sir: How touching it was to see the support of Canadians who care and supported the Orange Shirt Day ceremony at Bluewater Health on Sept. 30.
Letters to the editor

Orange shirts honoured school children

Sir: How touching it was to see the support of Canadians who care and supported the Orange Shirt Day ceremony at Bluewater Health on Sept. 30.

The day was about honouring children who survived the Indian Residential School system, and those who didn’t make it out.

Elder Cecil Isaac from the unceded Walpole Island First Nation did a cleansing ceremony with sage, the equivalent of Catholics using holy water for the same purpose.

Nikki George, the hospital’s Indigenous Navigator, helped set up the ceremony for staff and the public

The theme of this Orange Shirt Day was ‘Every Child Matters,’ and it remembered the many children forced to leave their home and who paid the ultimate price by losing their lives while in Indian residential schools.

Residential schools started after Confederation in the 1870s and the last one didn’t close until 1996. The policy, designed to assimilate Indigenous people and still in effect today, had disastrous outcomes.

Residential schools were run more like prisons than schools, and children were bullied and abused.

A student who had her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of residential school inspired the day. Indigenous children were made to sacrifice their culture and traditions, forced to cut their hair, and punished for speaking their own language.

This colonial mentality had consequences, leading to self-destructive beliefs and behaviours that have been passed on to their children, resulting in high poverty and unemployment rates, and a lower life expectancy.

Wearing an orange shirt recognizes the tremendous harm residential schools did to Indigenous people, promotes reconciliation, and raises awareness of bullying and racism.

Indigenous people are very resilient, even though their culture was annihilated by racist government policy that continues to exist today.

Many Indigenous people are determined to be strong and courageous, despite the pain and prejudice. They will continue to heal and move forward through their own culture and ceremonies that work for them.

Michael Eshkibok

Addictions Navigator,

Sarnia Native Friendship Centre


City Hall, those paper yard bags just aren’t working for us

Sir: I have extensive gardens. I have planted to support birds, bees and butterflies. I have been a Community in Bloom winner, and been on three garden tours to support charities and the local horticultural society.

I recycle, reduce, reuse, and have two composters and am building a compost container. But l hate hate hate these paper bags.

I have a garage floor that gets damp so l have to raise them on chairs, footstools, and boards. It’s my collection day as I write this. I waited until this morning, when it was clear weather, and laid down a tarp to protect from dew.

Then at the age of nearly 61, l carried out three bins and six bags of waste. This is not leaves, it is heavy, dirty waste from starting fall cleanup.

But now, l am nearly in tears because it is pouring rain and they are all soaked. And NO, l did not yet invest in a second tarp to put over them. Does anyone know where l can get a tarp to cover 25 to 30 bags at once, because that is my reality for the next month.

When these soaked PAPER bags fall apart, and they will, the handlers during collection are not obliged to clean it up. So l will have a huge, wet dirty mess on my boulevard, which l will have to bag AGAIN at a physical and financial cost to myself.

This is not working! I get the ecology behind it, but sometimes realities should be considered as well. It isn’t the financial but the practical aspect.

Perhaps those who agree with me should drop off a few bags each in front of City Hall on a nice rainy day, and those who think paper is a realistic solution can come and clean it up!

Margot Gulliford



Rayjon thanks the community after hosting final fall fair

Sir: On behalf of the 16-member committee of women who have fueled and organized the annual Rayjon Fall Fair the past 25 years, I want to say ‘thank you’ to our local community, which has never wavered in its support.

The ongoing generosity has allowed us to deliver a quality one-day event every September that has raised an amazing amount of money and awareness for Rayjon’s projects in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

We have forged stronger connections among ourselves as we worked and reached out together to our Haitian and Dominican beneficiaries. With gratitude,

Dianne McKillican,

Rayjon Fall Fair Convenor



Time for Canada to nationalize its hydrocarbon resources

Sir: Finally, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and his foolish Harperite Conservative brethren have gotten something right.

Canada does need a National Energy Corridor and Canada does need a National Energy Policy.

I am a chemical engineer from Sarnia, and for the past 25 years, since Dow Chemical left the city, have worked globally because there was no work for me in Canada.

The previous National Energy Policy was the creation of Justin Trudeau's daddy. Canada rejected it, and decided to give its resources away to foreign multinationals.

Pierre Trudeau also wanted to build a crude derivatives plant corridor between Edmonton and Calgary. (Russian President Vladimir Putin is in a crude derivatives plant-building phase because it helps isolate Russia from the swings in crude pricing.)

Folks, it is time for Canada to reclaim its huge hydrocarbon natural resources, which are second only to Saudi Arabia’s, by kicking out or buying out the foreign multinationals that control them and replacing their ownership with Canadian Crown Corporations.

These Crown Corps would need to own a minimum of 51% of any project involving foreign multinationals (as Qatar does),

thus making Canada a rich country (as Qatar is) with a balance of trade surplus able to fund the country’s operations.

We also need to eliminate provincial control and replace it with inclusive national control, enforced by the War Measures Act, if needed.

No more little, provinciality control and stupid bickering.

Climate change may be real but we cannot bury our natural resources. We can aggressively address both carbon dioxide emissions and carbon dioxide capture from the atmosphere.

Let us create a smart, inclusive national vision of Canada to take forward into the next century.

Zbigniew Roman Pedzinski


Disgusted by loss of Seniors’ Association

Sir: With great dismay, I read the Oct. 3 story about the demise of the Lambton Seniors’ Association. Also disheartening is the reason behind it — the United Way pulling its funding.

Apparently employing strong-arm tactics, the United Way asked LSA to violate its core policy of helping all seniors over the age of 55, in exchange for cash.

It seems to believe seniors are pilferers looking to scrimp and save...oh wait. Yes, they are! I think United Way would find almost ALL seniors are deeply concerned about their financial state.

Are there so many wealthy seniors sitting back and sipping Metamucil margaritas while getting cheap labour that it warrants a submission to ‘proof of need’?

The United Way doesn’t seem to understand that many seniors see their means test as a humiliation. It’s not that they want to hide their money. Instead, they’re embarrassed by the state of their finances or feel their finances are their own private business.

Setting aside the concept that all seniors are freeloaders until proven otherwise, my question would be, does it matter? Seniors' money is all the same colour. I was unaware the LSA’s service providers were so booked they needed to turn away customers. The few LSA providers I’ve spoken to said they either weren’t busy or wanted to be busy.

Most LSA providers are seniors themselves, and provide these services as a way of socializing, and the social aspect is a huge component of these ‘home visits.’

I did not see any mention of LSA doing its own private fundraising. I think any and all options should be explored before shuttering this business, which is a lifeline to the recipients and the providers.

I am here to offer funds to LSA. Not $40k a year, but a portion of that. I don't even live in the Sarnia area, but I see the need for this particular institution.

The United Way seems to have decided that corporate money outweighs simple morality and charity. I am disgusted by its behaviour.

Phil Smy

Iwanuma, Japan

The reasons I won’t be voting for Trudeau this election

Sir: This is my 45th year in Canada, and I recently received an election notification card. I always vote Liberal, but for the first time will refrain from voting because I don’t like a prime minister who:

* Ridicules others because they will not attend an LGBTQ parade. Not attending does not mean you are against them.

* Legalizes drugs such as marijuana without long-term testing.

* Has been involved in suspicious dealings, such as the SNC-Lavalin case.

* Who kowtows to Donald Trump, and practically goes down on a knee to pacify him. Pierre Trudeau would have shown Donald the finger.

* Who puts the entire country to shame by asking other leaders to intercede for another country, instead of doing it himself.

* Supports a carbon tax that is nothing but a money-grab. Power plants would rather pay the fine than undergoing costly renovations.

* Tried to mimic his father but fell short. It is like comparing a molehill to a mountain.

For those and many other reasons I will not be going to the voting booth.

Marcelo Villanueva


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