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Honouring Our Veterans

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 11:26 -- Dan McCaffery

Last month’s Remembrance Day ceremonies were among the most moving ever seen in the city.

Certainly they were among the best attended, with well over 2,000 people on hand.

Part of the reason for this was the fact that Nov. 11 marked the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

But it would be a mistake to honour only the men and women who fought for us in the world wars. Many others went through hell on earth in places like Afghanistan and Korea.

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Iceland should be your travel destination

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 10:51 -- Dan McCaffery

After the better part of a lifetime in which my wife and I have devoted a lot of time and money towards travel, we’re often asked what our favourite destination might be.

Until now it has not been an easy question to answer because we’ve been to so many exotic and interesting places. Since the 1970s we’ve been to Europe 11 times, all over North America and to Japan and Australia.

But after last month’s trip to a little island in the North Atlantic I think we might have the answer – Iceland.

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Politician’s Handbook

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 16:03 -- Dan McCaffery

What makes for a good local politician?

That’s an important question now that municipal elections are almost upon us.

One way to determine who we should vote for is to study the leaders of the past to ascertain which ones were exceptional and, more to the point, what made them so good.

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Question your candidates

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 10:14 -- Dan McCaffery

There’s a question every candidate for Sarnia city council should be asked this fall.

“Do you support the gag order the current council has slapped on municipal politicians?”

And only a one-word answer should be accepted. Yes or No.

Anyone who answers ‘yes’ should be rejected by any voter who values democracy. Anyone who fudges their answer or qualifies it in any way should get the same treatment.

Only those who say unequivocally that they are opposed to this draconian law should even be considered by thoughtful people.

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Andy Brandt Marina

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:25 -- Dan McCaffery

City council made the right move last month when it renamed Sarnia Bay Marina after Andy Brandt.

Brandt, who is 80 years old, was one of the most successful local politicians of the 20th century.

First elected as a councillor in 1971, he served in municipal government for nine years, including six as mayor. During that time he dramatically altered the appearance of downtown.

Few remember it today, but at the beginning of the 1970s Front Street was a shambles. Brandt once said the west side of Front looked like Berlin in 1945 when he became mayor. And he was right.

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We’re destroying their habitats

Fri, 06/29/2018 - 15:56 -- Dan McCaffery

One afternoon last month I was standing at the end of my driveway when a neighbour pulled over and excitedly yelled that there was a deer on the street.

Looking up, I saw the creature running down McMillen Parkway West, headed for Lakeshore Road.

At first I was thrilled to see such a beautiful creature close up.

A day or two later, on Facebook, I saw a video of two deer making their way down the sidewalk on Christina Street near the post office. A day after that, I read a story about a bear being spotted near Wallaceburg.

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Grits staying in the wilderness

Fri, 06/01/2018 - 08:15 -- Dan McCaffery

The Liberal party appears to be finished in Sarnia-Lambton.

As of this writing the results of the June election were not known. But what was known as I wrote this column is that the local Grits waited until the eleventh hour before even nominating a candidate. In fact, it was closer to 30 seconds to midnight – just a day before the deadline.

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Kiss our democracy goodbye

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 12:52 -- Dan McCaffery

When I first started reporting 45 years ago, this country had a vibrant, robust media.

And not just in the big cities like Toronto, or even medium-sized communities like Sarnia.

A case in point would be the former Moore Township, known today as St. Clair Township. In the mid-1970s I covered Moore Township council for the old Sarnia Gazette.

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The new Catholic reality

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 16:24 -- Dan McCaffery

The way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sarnia reduced to a single Catholic elementary school within the next two decades or so.

Consider this: When I was sent off to my first day in kindergarten back in the late 1950s, it was as a student at St. Peter’s School in central Sarnia. Or more specifically, an annex to St. Pete’s.

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Backroom boys

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 09:10 -- Dan McCaffery

Remember the good old days when the ‘back room boys’ picked party leaders?

People railed against that system, saying it was undemocratic, that the rank and file had little or no say in who was going to represent them.

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