Kudos to Coun. Jackie Rombouts for presenting a motion at the Nov. 3 meeting of Lambton County council asking that the vaccine mandates be lifted and that all people, vaccinated or not, be treated equally. Her motion was supported by Coun. Margaret Bird, whose comments were exemplary.
Unfortunately, they were the only two who believe in freedom to choose – the remaining councillors obviously do not.
Mayor Mike Bradley ranted against “anti-vaxxers”, as he so disparagingly refers to those who choose not to receive the jab. In my not so humble opinion, he should have used this tone when, at the Oct. 25 meeting of Sarnia city council, he allowed the city planner to dictate the way in which the issue before them must be handled. When the mayor informed her that it has always been the city’s practice to allow delegations to speak on the subject under consideration, she elucidated that it was not the way it was managed in other cities.
The planner’s decision, not council’s policy, was upheld. The delegations waiting to speak on the issue were not heard.
It appears that, as in the past, it is city administration who are making the decisions and the council is simply rubber stamping. Rather than conceding, the mayor should have informed the planner that it is council, not hired employees, who are elected to make decisions.
In a recent publication, Coun. Mike Stark said he believes council pay should be much higher due to the many hours of time spent on council business. He even proposed a consultant be hired to determine the amount. He has been consistent during this term of council in requesting higher compensation. Did he not run for council to serve the public?
The city staff has proposed pay raises. I expect not one of them missed a pay cheque during the pandemic, unlike the business owners forced to implement costly protocols, at their own expense, and lay off staff. Furthermore, they were ordered to restrict how many customers they were allowed to accommodate. To keep afloat, some took mortgages on their homes while others could not manage so they closed.
It is most inappropriate that government employees, at all levels, be given pay raises that will be paid by the very taxpayers who endured the hardships throughout the past year and a half.