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Week of July 8

"Unapologetically Canadian” lawn signs tone deaf at best Sir: In light of the recent hate crime resulting in the murder of a Muslim family in London, as well as the discovery of 215 Indigenous children’s bodies at a former residential school in Kamlo
Letters to the editor

"Unapologetically Canadian” lawn signs tone deaf at best

Sir: In light of the recent hate crime resulting in the murder of a Muslim family in London, as well as the discovery of 215 Indigenous children’s bodies at a former residential school in Kamloops, the Canada Day lawn signs that went up around town – with the words “Unapologetically Canadian” and decorated with a maple leaf – were tone deaf at best.

They imply support for Canada’s historical practice of assimilating Indigenous people and excluding immigrants who do not fit the traditional White Canadian mould.

Their creator stated in the Sarnia Journal that she thought they were a nice way to make people laugh at a sweet Canadian stereotype – we always apologize!! – but in light of current events, this joke landed flat.

The people of Sarnia should reconsider displaying these signs again and show their support for all people in Canada. If they would like to proudly display a lawn sign, consider picking up a free “All Are Welcome Here” sign from our Sarnia-Lambton Local Immigration Partnership (Tourism Sarnia-Lambton, 519-336-3232) or purchase a “Hate Has No Home Here” lawn sign from our Sarnia Pride and Transgender Association ([email protected] or 519-402-8478).

Signed, Apologetic Canadians,

Haley Walker

Mackenzie Macht


Humans capable of greatness and unspeakable atrocities

Sir: I am a proud Canadian. On July 1 I recognized that fact. I do not celebrate one day with fireworks, but recognize the day by supporting our local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion as they offer the public a barbecue sandwich.

I am deeply saddened by the discoveries of the unmarked graves found at residential schools. Some of these deaths were from natural causes, but I believe most were not.

I am saddened but not shocked. The human race has a history of inflicting unspeakable atrocities upon itself. This is the same race that can put men into space and do life-saving surgery from thousands of miles away. This is the same race that attempts genocide, slavery and forced prostitution.

If a blind man describes an elephant by only holding its tail you would not get a complete picture of the animal.

As an Anglo-Saxon my ancestors were raped and pillaged by Vikings. I do not harbour ill feelings toward Scandinavians today as times do change for the better and so do societies.

I have two great uncles who were Barnardo Boys in England and shipped to Canada as young teens to work (as slave labour) for farmers. I do not blame England for their policies in the 19th century. They have evolved since then.

My third great grandfather was in the army of George lll, injured in the Napoleonic Wars and a liability to the Crown as a result. He had to come to Canada or live in the streets as a beggar. Different times, different expectations.

Society changes, usually for the better in a democracy. We can look back with shock, dismay and embarrassment for the actions of our ancestors. However, I believe we should also look at the progress made as society moves forward.

In spite of our shortcomings as a nation, I take pride in Canada’s efforts to improve as time marches on. Wrongs cannot be righted, but behaviours can improve.

I think Canada is a leader in the world with our relatively progressive policies. I am and always will be a proud Canadian.

Robert Alcock


Cutting tick-infested tall grass should be priority for city

Sir: While the COVID-19 pandemic dominates the news we need to remember other safety risks in our community.

Canada had about 2,600 cases of Lyme disease in 2019 and 3% to 5% of these cases are fatal.

We can all agree it’s in our best interest to stay away from ticks, and we know ticks climb to the top of long grasses and sit there waiting for a victim.

Therefore, maintenance of grasses at the edge of trails and trail access points is one way Sarnia can ensure the safety of its residents.

Recently I entered the Howard Watson Trail from the city-constructed access point in Bright’s Grove, across from the east entrance to Stoney Creek Drive. There, long grass overhangs the gravel trail.

While I checked myself and my dog carefully for ticks when I got home, I worry about the safety of kids that bike through there to enter the trail. In fact, several years ago I got a tick walking through that exact area. While I got the tick off, I am still ticked off.

The city might say it lacks the resources to keep these trail access points clear, but I say we need to use a risk assessment approach to prioritize maintenance work.

Instead of weed-whacking along fence edges or pulling weeds from flower gardens, doesn't it make more sense to start weed-whacking areas where people walk?

I think so.

Susan MacFarlane

Bright's Grove

Canada’s founding fathers deserving of respect

Sir: Regarding the recent criticism of Sir John A. Macdonald.

Without the foresight and determination of these early Canadians, what would Canada look like today?

Maybe Justin Trudeau should take a moment to acknowledge them.

Thomas O'Malley

Bright’s Grove

Point Edward vaccine clinic a masterpiece of efficiency

Sir: Recently we were privileged to receive our second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the Point Edward Arena clinic.

We can only describe the experience as a masterpiece of efficient organization. There were teams of professionals and volunteers working together to provide an essential service for the common good.

From the smiling volunteers working in hot sunshine directing car park traffic to the careful attention given to those needing additional medical assistance, every detail was covered.

What might have been a clinical atmosphere was cleverly balanced by children’s artwork in the hallways and historical photographs of the community in each booth.

We have here an example of Canada at its finest. Our sincere thanks to all front-line workers.

David & Brenda Thomas


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