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Letters: week of Oct. 19

A plea to stop vehicle traffic in Canatara Park at night Sir: I sat on my balcony during the recent "Light Up the Night for Noelle" as the participants made their way through the park.
Letters to the editor

A plea to stop vehicle traffic in Canatara Park at night

Sir: I sat on my balcony during the recent "Light Up the Night for Noelle" as the participants made their way through the park. It was an enjoyable and peaceful evening, and no vehicles were allowed in the park while the event was taking place.

When, in past communications with the brain trust at City Hall, I have asked why the park couldn't be closed at a reasonable hour and opened in the morning, I was told it was because of the homes along the lake.

So, how about closing the park at the entrance to the beach and at the entrance off Sandy Lane? There is no saving of time in using the park road so let's not pull that argument out of the hat.

If any of the city fathers want to join me some weekend evening, they can hear for themselves what I am talking about. Sincerely,

Don Ballantyne


Proposed tax reforms won’t impact most small businesses

Sir: Regarding the Oct. 12 letter from Rosemary Marshall, “Pampered leaders have no idea about small business risks.”

My previous letter about the federal government’s proposed tax reforms was based on information contained in a Sept. 21 National Post article by John Ivison, who is not known for his pro-Liberal Party of Canada viewpoint.

Small business owners were never called ‘tax cheats’ by the federal government, another prevailing misnomer repeated by Ms. Marshall.

The LPC did say very wealthy people sprinkling income to family members not active in a business to reduce taxes is both costly and unfair. And most Canadians agree with that assessment.

A more recent article by David Olive (Toronto Star, Oct. 6,) states the vast majority of people who incorporate are in the top 5% of Canadian income earners; the majority of Canadian small-business owners earn far less than that (two-thirds earn less than $75,000) so the vast majority of small business owners in Canada are simply not affected by the proposed tax reforms, contradicting another popular prevailing misnomer.

Pointing out how difficult and risky it is to run a small business - and nobody is saying it isn’t - is empty rhetoric when the majority of them are not affected by the proposed reforms.

Mr. Olive is an award-winning author with decades of experience covering political issues in Canada and the United States and a former chief editor and head writer at not-so-‘leftist’ publications ‘Report on Business,’ the Financial Post, the National Post and Globe and Mail. Mr. Olive also explained farmers will continue to benefit from the $1-million Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption for transferring family farm ownership, contrary to another fabricated Conservative Party talking point.

The Conservative Party seems unable to put forward any concrete policy initiatives or alternatives of its own, relying instead on attacking Liberal proposals.

Critiquing government proposals and policy is what opposition parties are supposed to do, however I suggest it works better when those critiques are based on the actual facts of the matter, not on defensive posturing and sensationalized hearsay designed to mislead the public.

Stanton Earle


Where is the stewardship and oversight on public projects?

Sir: I struggle sometimes to make sense of how our local elected councils oversee budgets and the workforce they control.

Here are some statistics of recent examples of inept management locally, gleaned from published media reports.

CENTENNIAL PARK: The budget went progressively from $8 million in 2014 to $13.5 million in October of 2017. Will it be completed in 2018?

And are we finishing with something better than what we started with, for $13 million plus?

GREAT LAKES SECONDARY SCHOOL: The initial budget at the Lambton Kent District School Board was $16 million in 2016. That figure increased to $19 million by June of this year, and is now $24.5 million.

I bet those on the respective councils don’t run their businesses and private lives like they mismanage our money. We will all have a chance to show our appreciation of their ineptitude in the next election.

However, has any of the paid advisers, those experts on salary, been disciplined or sacked for their awful advice and expertise given on these two projects?

Perhaps there have been sackings; perhaps people have resigned because they were not up to the job. However, those paying the bills, the citizens of Sarnia, are not privy to any information about the reasons why there has been such gross incompetence by the elected leaders and their advisors on these two projects.

Is there anyone in Sarnia who can shed any light on this appalling mismanagement?

Keith Patrick


Lots of good things happening in our community

Sir: My top 10 things appearing in The Journal recently.

1 – Gymnast Amy Bladon getting a scholarship to attend Penn State. Way to go Amy! Sarnia is proud of you.

2 – The Sarnia Braves and their 45-3 season. Wow. Look out Blue Jays.

3 – Stump sculpture photo spread. Now, that’s positive thinking. Congrats to photographer Glenn Ogilvie and the owners of the carvings.

4 – The old Sarnia General Hospital coming down. Yes. Sweet!

5 – The good, bad and ugly letters: Don’t feed the ducks, the Fab Five fighting (again), the rising high school costs.

6 – Native singer and lawyer succeeding. I like good news.

7 – Those who give — Bethel Fun Day, Habitat for Humanity expanding, Golden K Kiwanis Legacy Pavilion, Rutherglen car show helping the Salvation Army.

8 – Sarnia’s Michael Marinaro and Kirsten Moore-Towers winning gold at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic. Skating for the city!

9 – Seeing people you know in the community — Crystal and Paul, Ted and Mary’s 50th, the Fazio team.

10 – And the ads: Sarnia Modern Women Show, Dan Edwards, Auto House, Mazda, Bethel Fun Day, Lambton Ford, GMC, Goodyear Tires, Park Lane and Lambton Kia.

Cam Ross


Long-gun registry made it harder for guns to enter illegal market

Sir: In response to Bruce Toye’s letter of Oct, 11, in which he comments on my letter of Oct. 4, I would like to clarify a couple of points.

At no point did I mean to imply that it was legal for a PAL holder to sell a weapon to a non-PAL holder, but the fact is that it does happen. While responsible gun owners may act within the law, there are always those ready to take advantage of lax regulations and record keeping.

In the absence of a long gun registry, a shotgun for example, can change hands a few times and quickly become untraceable, ending up in the illegal market.

Even with a requirement to register the transfer of a restricted weapon, of which there are over 650,000 in Canada (as of December 2013), they can also become sufficiently untraceable as ownership becomes confused following the death of an owner, or after they are reported lost, stolen or scrapped.

What the Harper government did was reduce the chance of being caught when selling into the illegal market. This is demonstrated by the increasing number of both non-restricted and restricted firearms involved in crime.

My fear is that potential terrorists may also make use of this market.

Finally, I categorically deny that my letter advised anyone to commit a criminal act, as suggested by Mr. Toye.

Peter R. Smith


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