Letters to the Editor: Aug. 26

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Service/rest areas needed along 402

Regarding the article Third 402 truck crash spurs calls for solutions (Aug. 22):

First, why are there no service areas on Highway 402, similar to On Route stops on the 401? The distance justifies it, and these businesses would make money.

As a private car driver, I wish I could pause when heading toward the border with its unpredictable wait times, or if there is bad weather. Commercial drivers must need a break even more, to rest and to get their documents ready. Laybys, a more modest version with parking spots, lighting and portable toilets, would be better than nothing.

And don’t argue folks can use the cities of London and Sarnia. That is difficult if you don’t know the area and does not fill the need for a stop partway along the 402.

Second, why are the government’s truck inspection stations in Ontario so often closed, including in the middle of a weekday?

Katharine Brandon


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Cyclists, slow down

Cyclists should be aware that Gibbons Park is an oasis of calm in London, not a raceway.

This park is a treasure with its old willow and maple trees, open spaces for picnics, benches to sit in contemplation and paths where people can walk at a leisurely pace.

However, it has become stressful and hazardous for seniors and families with little children to walk the paths with cyclists racing through without warning. The speed they reach is frightening. No bells alert you of their approach, no calls in advance to say they are cycling through, just heads down and barrel through as if they are on the Tour de France.

Cyclists, slow down and be aware of the danger of colliding with unsuspecting strollers. Please leave the racing for open spaces and not the narrow paths of Gibbons Park.

Riva Ellinson


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Hospitals missed

Regarding Chip Martin’s column Big spend for little gain seems shifty (Aug. 19).

I would like to unequivocally support bus rapid transit, but I cannot.

The three primary destinations of public transportation are Fanshawe College, Western University and the hospitals. All hospitals currently have front-door access. The new proposed route accommodates St. Joseph’s Health Centre. The same cannot be said of University or Victoria hospitals.

The current plan drops off those headed to Victoria at Baseline and Wellington roads. They will have to walk a block south and half a block east to the front doors of the hospital.

For UH, the closest proposed stop will be at Windemere and Western roads. Those passengers will have to walk a considerable distance to the southeast to the main doors of the hospital.

I will continue to withhold my support until these obvious flaws are addressed. After all, this is supposed to the public transportation solution for years to come.

Michael M. Lerner


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Out to lunch

Jim Merrriam’s column New food guide could hurt farmers, health (Aug. 22) suggesting that the people who author Health Canada’s food guides are “ideologues”, “brainiacs” and “holier-than-thou-bureaucrats” was dismissive, misleading and little more than fear-mongering.

Even though Health Canada is encouraging people to eat less (but not eliminate) red meat and foods high in saturated fat such as butter and certain cheeses, Merriam as well as Canada’s dairy and beef sectors are overreacting and mounting a doomsday scenario for those sectors of agriculture.

Smart farmers know Health Canada’s recommendations already have been implemented by many health-conscious consumers and, therefore, have already taken steps to re-position their farm businesses to meet changing consumer preferences.

To these farmers, Health Canada is simply catching up to a well-established marketplace reality and, therefore, they do not share Merriam’s alarmist, “shoot the messenger” viewpoint, nor should they.

Stephen Thompson


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Tolerance key

The overwhelming majority of Canadians are appalled and disgusted by the message of white supremacists.

So offended, that these Canadians are turning a blind eye to the appalling and disgusting actions of another group, the counter-protest activists who are verbally and physically preventing the white supremacists from assembling.

While these activists have a lawful right to counter-protest, those lawful rights end when they begin unlawfully interfering with another’s legal right to assemble.

As repugnant as it might be, we must stand up and protect the rights of these white supremacists. A free and democratic society can only survive when all members of that society, the good the bad and the vile are permitted their freedom of speech and right of assembly. If those freedoms are removed, anarchy will not hesitate to fill the void.

In a democracy, to be intolerant of another’s intolerance is simply intolerable.

Al Gretzky


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Takes two to tango

Indeed, the white nationalists who demonstrated against the removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Virginia recently were all guilty of a three things: a superior attitude, lawful assembly and a sense of self preservation when confronted with a politically correct left-wing agenda that decided to make something out of it. The U.S. president is equally guilty of stating the obvious: it takes two to tango.

Brock Turner


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Antifa antagonists

Non-violent resistance has a long and effective history in fighting racism and extremism in the U.S. The “both sides are to blame” argument has gained legitimacy because the anti-­fascist Antifa is deliberately not peaceful. When we look at the images of conflict between protesters and counter-­protesters, we can rarely distinguish between the two.

What should be more troubling to Antifa is that its strategy of participating in violence provides a unique opening for right-wing extremists. We are hearing more and more about Antifa not because its anti-fascist message is being disseminated more effectively. Instead we are hearing about it as the bogeyman of white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other far-right groups.

Antifa is the violent provocateur of the alt-right. Until the left acknowledges this political vulnerability, being able to distinguish Antifa from its ideological opponents will increasingly become a blurry enterprise.

Bob McDaniel


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Slippery slope

In the ongoing tug of war between free speech and giving objectionable groups the right to protest, we now have a city council that votes for the prohibition of activities of organizations whose ideologies are contrary to the City of London’s. Who decides that? Maybe someone on council would like to appoint Dianne Haskett to that position.

Does that sound like a free and open society, or something closer to North Korea?

The saying goes “Give ’em enough rope and they’ll hang themselves.” We’ll see this weekend who is going to grab that rope. Council already seems ready to get a tight grip.

Richard Marcinowski


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Too lenient

During the war years, it was stated, “Loose lips sink ships”. Today, it’s “Loose lips sink our border security.”

Beyond his now famous “open-border” tweets, last Sunday the prime minister did his usual misleading routine in Montreal when forced to address the real issue of ever-escalating illegal border crossings into Canada.

Instead of taking a firm, unequivocal stance on the enforcement of the rule of Canadian law, pursuant to our country’s immigration protocols and procedures, he again chose to um and ah his way through a pabulum-laced dissertation of how we Canadians are open and welcoming, blah, blah, blah.

South of the border, we have a no-holds-barred leadership style. Here, we have a “no-holds-whatsoever” leadership style. Oh, for a real leader in either office.

D. Allen Price


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Opposition needed

Regarding the Point of View Canadians wary of Trudeau’s mess (Aug. 18).

We Canadians should be worried about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mess regarding the illegal immigration situation in Quebec and other parts of Canada. It is easy for Trudeau to speak charitably that our borders are open to anyone seeking freedom and a better way of life. Who is paying for all of these?

It was enough that he welcomed the thousands of refugees from the Middle East, with the money paid out and still being paid out at the expense of taxpayers. There also is a medical crisis in this country with such a huge deluge of new immigrants.

Canadians are a generous and kind people. However, enough is enough. The opposition parties need to take a stand on this invasion across our borders.

Genevieve Grech


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Stick to teaching

Regarding the column The case for Sir John A. (Aug. 25).

I see that a teachers’ group wants the name John A. MacDonald removed from all buildings to do with education because he was prime minister when the Indian residential schools program was started. What next, remove statutes?

This is another example of a self-appointed, politically correct, thought cop trying to implement change to meet with his perceived idea of thinking.

Teachers should concentrate on teaching our history, not rewriting it to their perspective.

Robert Drummond


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God blameless

The logic of Jeff Rankin-Lowe’s position in the letter No proof of a creator (Aug. 18) escapes me.

Is he blaming a non-existent god for war, disease, famine, crime and misery or calling believers cold-blooded fools?

Does the music of the spheres prove there is no master craftsman behind the intelligent design of the cosmos? Does his healthy skepticism alter the being of the eternal non-­contingent first cause?

It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness; to encourage one person than to blame the Creator for what we do with the free will he gives us. Let’s not blame the maker when we fail to follow the operating instructions.

Carole Tysoe


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