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Letters: week of Sept. 27

Sarnia has great slate of candidates running for city council Sir: Wow! Kudos to all for the great coverage of the coming election for city councillors.
Letters to the editor

Sarnia has great slate of candidates running for city council

Sir: Wow! Kudos to all for the great coverage of the coming election for city councillors.

All the print media is doing even better than usual in providing us with solid information on the candidates.

The Chamber of Commerce has also stepped in with a spreadsheet of information supplied by the candidates as well Internet links to other significant information sources on its website.

Katie Horvath of Vocalize Sarnia has gone one great step further in holding very useful interviews with all willing candidates, which includes most, and then uploading them to You Tube. Googling her name will get you there.

Steve Loxton is also doing a great job hosting a discussion group "City of Sarnia (Unofficial)" which can be accessed from the Chamber election website.

All this complements the great work City Staff has done under the leadership of CAO, Margaret Misek-Evans, who, during her very trying tenure, has greatly opened up City Hall deliberations for input by all citizens.

"Smart Sarnia" is a great initiative as has been the generation of a superb "Strategic Plan" and all the detailed background information on which it is based. Council did a good job, in the absence of leadership, in supporting these programs.

For whatever reason, Sarnia has ended up with the best slate of new candidates for council that I've ever witnessed. There's an abundance of very knowledgeable and experienced people to choose from.

They are more than qualified to direct staff in the responsible allocation of the city's limited resources in very straitened circumstance. Fortunately, most candidates want to make Sarnia an even better place for both its present and its future citizens.

With all that great input, I have already made my selections for office. I will not vote for the current mayor and will vote for only one, Bev MacDougall, of the incumbent councillors who are running.

Thanks to all for the help.

Saorgus Mc Ginley


Fluoridated water does reduce cavities

Sir: In response to Mr. Gowrie's letter of Sept. 13, I would like to note the following.

The addition of fluoride to drinking water is under the direction of the Medical Officer of Health. A general manager of a water treatment plant does not, and should not, make decisions or publicly express an opinion regarding a health and dental-related issue.

As a professional engineer I have no business commenting on that. The addition of fluoride to drinking water has no doubt saved children a lot dental cavities, especially those that do not regularly visit a dentist. We know this is true because dentists still give fluoride treatments for cavity protection.

It may not be the best method of fluoride delivery, but for our poorest population it is no doubt among the top public health achievements of the 20th Century.

As for the Calgary study, I would disagree with Mr. Gowrie that the study was debunked. Some researchers hired by anti-fluoride activists tried to pick it apart, and if you know how research is published you know the original article would have been peer reviewed by experts prior to publication.

As for me “misinforming the citizens,” I would point out Mr. Gowrie's presentation to city council on June 11 and subsequently picked up by the press, about LAWSS introducing lead into the drinking water via fluoride addition.

It not only misinformed the public, it was just plain wrong. A report from LAWSS sent to Sarnia City Council on May 29 and which can be found on the city's website at clearly shows that there is no lead added to the treated water leaving the water treatment plant.

Mr. Gowrie's point in his presentation that the maximum lead concentration found during water sampling of the LAWSS distribution system has increased (but still below the human health limit of 10 ppb) is worth investigating, but I caution Mr. Gowrie or anyone else from jumping to conclusions about what the cause may be. Sincerely,

Susan MacFarlane, Ph.D., P.Eng.


The rebuttal rebutted

Sir: Regarding the letter of Sept. 13, “A rebuttal to that column on fluoridation of drinking water.”

The author of this letter was cherry-picking stats and misrepresented what the original author said.

So why does 97% of Europe and a large percentage of the developed world not fluoridate their water? Because in some places it’s not feasible economically, or the water is already naturally fluoridated. A majority of these places have other fluoridation methods, such as fluoridated milk and/or table salt.

Fluoridation studies have shown time and time again it’s an effective way to reduce dental decay (including in the Calgary study “debunked” by a conspiracy website).

I encourage the author to expand his reading and understanding the subject beyond these conspiracy websites and Facebook fear-mongering groups.

M.S. FitzGerald


The Conservative Party has changed, and not for the better

Sir: I began writing letters to The Journal after persistent attacks on Justin Trudeau’s hair, socks and pre-political profession, deciding to base them on facts, reported events and Hansard transcriptions, etc.

Anyone in Canada is free to vocalize political views passionately; however Canada’s Conservative Party is at a crossroads. It attempts to attract Canadians not by use of positive, factual messaging, but through dog-whistling, pointing accusatory fingers at certain minority groups and with religious dogmatism.

MP Marilyn Gladu has openly engaged in this; which is NOT ‘terrific’ for Sarnia. It is embarrassing for Sarnia.

So it is no exaggeration Greg Hamilton’s Aug. 23 letter calling Justin Trudeau a ‘clown’ illustrates the Conservative Party’s semantic game of floating a loathing of not only Canada’s federal government and its programs, but also of the very name ‘Trudeau.’

If anyone dare say economic growth today is about 2.5 to three times stronger than it ever was under Harper’s Conservatives, or unemployment is at a 40-year low, or climate change has forests burning under our noses, or that climate action is urgently required, they invoke outrage about taxes being ‘theft’ or we live in a Marxist, socialist society. (They’re not and we don’t.)

Mr. Hamilton tells me to be quiet and ‘give it a rest.’ A disciple of the CPC Party telling others to be quiet only proves their self-proclaimed Party of ‘free speech’ catchphrase is just a talking point. They don’t really believe in it.

An old philosophical adage about ‘altruism vs. self-interest’ teaches how compassion and caring about one another not only improves society, but also ones own self.

Mr. Hamilton labels me ‘leftist,’ yet in the (long ago) past I have voted Conservative. Today, the waters they swim in are too shallow, warm and yellow for me.

It’s been building since the Reform Party took over the CPC in the ‘90s to become a party of outrage, surrendering traditional conservative values for tawdry political tactics, creating today’s sad state of Conservative Party affairs that only grows deeper; to the point where even Maxime Bernier can no longer stand it.

Stanton Earle


Labour Council wrong to endorse Mike Bradley

Sir: Regarding the Sarnia and District Labour Council’s endorsement of 11 city council candidates.

To endorse Mayor Mike Bradley and Coun. Dave Boushy for council goes directly against the principles of what the Council stands for, which is to protect its members from harassment and bulling.

Maybe Bradley wasn’t charged with a crime, but he was twice found to have harassed several members of city administration.

And it seems Boushy didn’t see anything wrong in the harassment the Mayor was involved in.

The Sarnia and District Labour Council should live up to its principles and scrub Bradley and Boushy from its list and change it to Ann Marie Gillis and one of those other candidates. Bradley has been mayor for 30 years and did a lot of good for Sarnia, but I think after the results of the last two years we should give somebody else a chance.

We still have high debt, high taxes and a crumbling infrastructure despite all the promises we got during those 30 years.

For the rest of the candidates, we can make up our own mind who to vote for.

T. Huizinga 

Sexual abuse survivor urges others to reach out and get help

Sir: Our 25th local Take Back the Night event was held on Sept. 20. It’s an important evening for bringing awareness to a topic not often discussed.

As Michelle Batty, executive director of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Centre (SASC) and Women’s Interval Home, has said, one in three girls and one in five boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18.

Those numbers alone should make people take notice and be aware of this epidemic.

Sexual abuse and violence happens on a large scale, from being verbally assaulted, grabbed or groped, often in public, such as a bus, to forced sexual assault/violence.

Unfortunately, I experienced all of the above, and others, starting at age 12 and ending at age 39. I spoke of none of these violations until I was on the brink of suicide.

Luckily, I have an amazing doctor who noticed my strange behaviour and started asking questions, not giving up until I told her some of my story.

When she told me that a wife can be raped by her husband, that my shame and guilt were not my fault, it was like finally seeing hope for myself.

She steered me in the direction of the SASC, who opened their arms and hearts to me, helping me believe in myself by them believing in me.

Sexual abuse, assault, violence, harassment and human trafficking are in our city, and because of the support of the many people who have helped me and others, more people are becoming aware of the realities that affect us, past, present and future.

If you or anyone you know has been harmed in any way sexually or physically please speak to someone, anyone, even if it is only to say, “Can I talk to you? I really need your help.”

Please, don’t try to put it away. I did for many years and it almost killed me. The people at SASC will listen and try to help you in any way they can, even if you just need someone to believe you.

Visit or call 519-337-3154. In crisis? Call 519-337-3320.

April Archer


Before you vote, read the Bradley reports

Sir:  The letter by Zig Merzins of Sept. 13, “I’m voting for Mike Bradley because he has done a good job,” must be replied to.

Zig must not have read the same two reports I did: Integrity Commissioners Report (June 28, 2016) and Workplace Investigation Report (Sept. 19, 2016).

Fortunately they can be found on under City Government, and then City Council. I encourage every voter to read both reports.

Zig states, the mayor “represented Sarnia with honour and integrity.” In fact, Mayor Bradley engaged in almost all of the different forms of harassment listed, including verbal abuse, psychological abuse, supervisory abuse, relational aggression and character assassination.

I guess our definitions of “honour and integrity” differ.

He states, Bradley was “found guilty by a biased arbitrator.” Neither of the writers of these reports was biased in any manner that I am aware of. Please explain.

He states, “Every endeavour has people who work diligently at their jobs, and others who have to be pushed and harassed to do what they are paid for. Same at City Hall.”

Really? Harassing employees is fine in his eyes? Seriously?

From the Workplace Investigation Report summary: “To summarize, I find on a balance of probabilities that the allegations against Mayor Bradley have been substantiated and that he has engaged in a course of vexatious comments and conduct which created a poisoned work environment for the complainants. In other words, he harassed and bullied all four complainants.”

Yes, leadership matters.  A leader with these qualities is the cause of the turmoil at City Hall. The facts in the reports speak for themselves. Sarnia deserves a new mayor!

Please take the time to READ THE REPORTS!  Educate yourself before voting!

Steve Chitovas


Had to be a better way of dealing with Bradley

Sir: They say Mike Bradley was a bully. OK, maybe he was.

However, they then went overboard when they docked his pay, took away his keys, built walls around him, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars doing it, and publicly humiliated him.

There had to be a better way of dealing with it.

In my opinion, those responsible should not, repeat should not, be re-elected.

Fred Beneteau


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