LAUREL: To Joanne McNally, Donna Kreutz, Lori Kay and Sharon Swain for their assistance in helping this adopted person find his biological roots. Once Joanne appeared as a DNA match on AncestryDNA, everything seemed to fall into place, confirming that my roots on my biological mother’s side were, of all things, in Newfoundland, my biological father’s in Ontario.
DART: To Ward 6 Coun. Joe Krmpotich for casting the sole vote against a resolution calling for the city to once again attempt to get out from under an Ontario Labour Relations Board decision that makes the city one of only five municipalities in the province that have the designation of being a construction employer, meaning only union firms can bid on city contracts. Because of his union background he could have abstained or declared a conflict. If he was going to vote, it should have been on behalf of all the residents of this city, rather than just his union brothers and sisters
DART: To Sault MPP Ross Romano for not coming out forcefully, he hasn’t come out at all, in support of the city’s quest to have the OLRB decision, which has been in place for 30 years, reversed. How long can he hide in the weeds on this issue?
LAUREL: To city police Constables David Guizzetti and John Mclean who stopped while on patrol to shovel the driveway of an elderly woman who was struggling with the snow during a heavy snowfall in mid-November. It obviously is not going to be an everyday thing, but the officers should be recognized for helping an elderly member of the community in need at that moment.
DART: To the Canadian government for its decision to sit out the vote in the United Nations against the plan initiated by President Donald Trump to move the United States embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The vote was 128 to 9 against the move and Canada was remiss in not standing against it as it undoubtedly will cause further unrest in the Middle East.
LAUREL: To Clyde Healey, who was recognized by the Senate of Canada for his community service, which includes serving as commanding officer of the 49th Field Regiment, chair of Canadian Games for the Physically Disabled, vice chair of Workplace Safety North and Sault Ste. Marie Museum board member. Healey spent five years with the air cadets and then served as an officer with the Navy League of Canada for two years before joining the 49th (Sault Ste. Marie) Field Regiment in 1967. He served as commanding officer from 1980 to 1984 and again from 1993 to 1999.
LAUREL: To the unsung volunteers who man the Christmas Cheer depot, their unselfish donation of their time and effort ensuring that many Sault Ste. Marie families get to enjoy a far happier Christmas than they otherwise would.
DART: To those doctors across the country who have been too loose with their prescribing of opioids, therefore becoming part of the problem rather than the solution as their patients become addicted to the subscription drugs. Michael Heitshu, chairman of the Coalition for Safe and Effective Pain Management, said more than 19 million prescriptions were written for opioids in Canada last year. This can’t continue.
DART: To Shaw Cable’s community news operation for removing Bill Montague from his analyst’s position alongside Gino Cavello during the telecast of Soo Greyhounds’ home games. Although some may not like Montague’s tell-it-like-it-is stance, being an opinion columnist I look on it as part of his appeal and there is no disputing the fact that over the past eight years he provided honest insights into the games that greatly assisted his audience.
DART: To city council for not passing a resolution prohibiting councillors from becoming chair of community organizations in which they are there as city representatives. This should have been an immediate response when Ward 5 Coun. March Bruni was asked by Eric Hoskins, the provincial Minster of Health and Longterm Care, to resign from his position as chair of Algoma Public Health as a result of the scandal that enveloped the agency in 2015.
LAUREL: To Phil Olendy and Ron Harrison for their feeding of the ducks at Station Mall as the harsh winter months of 2016-17 lingered on.
DART: To all stores who advertise buy one, get 50% off the second. This, of course, works out to 25% off the total transaction. I find it annoying that these retail outlets think we are so stupid that we can’t figure out what they are doing.
LAUREL: To Maggie Willis, the Johnson Township resident who was selected Citizen of the Year by the Bruce Mines and District Chamber of Commerce. Willis was the first female mayor of Bruce Mines and has served on many committees, the Horticultural Society, Bruce Mines Beautification, the Chamber of Commerce, Canada Day, The Holy Walk, minor hockey and home and school groups. She has also organized events such as Heritage Day, Copperfest and Winterfest, leaving few groups in the area that she hasn’t touched in her 28 years in the region.