The Business News Source for the Community of Sarnia - Lambton

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Save our SCITS

Mon, 12/28/2015 - 14:32 -- Dan McCaffery

The local public school board needs to find a way to save Sarnia Collegiate.

Trustees have announced they’re looking into the possibility of closing the city’s oldest high school and transferring its students to St. Clair Secondary School on Murphy Road.

That would be a serious blow to the community’s history. SCITS has been in operation on Wellington Street for close to a century. Before that, it was at other locations. In fact, the name Sarnia Collegiate can be traced back to the 1850s.

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Best known Sarnian

Sat, 12/05/2015 - 09:18 -- Dan McCaffery

Who is the best known Sarnian outside the friendly confines of our city?

Most people would probably say Chris Hadfield, the swashbuckling astronaut who made three breathtaking journeys to the stars. On one mission he became the first Canadian to walk in space. On another, he took command of the International Space Station.

Others would undoubtedly point to Mike Weir, the celebrated golfer who won the 2003 Masters green jacket.

But after spending much of September in Australia, I’m not so sure either of them is as well known as we’d like to think.

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Conservatives will get considerably less

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 09:32 -- Dan McCaffery

We may have made a mistake last month when we failed – for the first time in a generation – to elect an MP who was part of the winning team.

Sarnia-Lambton has had an MP sitting on the government benches in Ottawa since the spring of 1963. That undoubtedly meant we had considerably more influence in Ottawa than a lot of other ridings across the country.

During Pierre Trudeau’s time we even had a Sarnia-Lambton cabinet minister in the person of Bud Cullen.

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My non-political travel column

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 14:13 -- Dan McCaffery

I was going to write about the federal election this month but, in the end, I just couldn’t face the task.

All three main parties are such disappointments that I couldn’t find a reason to endorse any of them.

Which brings me to the more pleasant topic of travel. I spent most of September in Australia,  and in the process visiting my fourth continent and seeing my 17th country.

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The Mayor’s legacy

Tue, 09/08/2015 - 15:07 -- Dan McCaffery

I have a job for Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley.

Strange as it may sound, I think Bradley should bring to fruition a long-forgotten dream of the late Lorne Henderson’s.

On the surface, this probably sounds like a very peculiar thing to say. Henderson, after all, was a conservative, rural politician first elected to public office in 1946. If he was alive today, he’d be almost 95 years old. His grammar was absolutely atrocious (Lorne was the guy who once told a gathering in Petrolia, “Me and the Premier brung you this cheque”).

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Have you heard of our hidden gem?

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 10:19 -- Dan McCaffery

There’s a hidden gem in our community that not enough people know about.

I’m talking about the Sarnia-Lambton Sports Hall of Fame, an institution that has been honouring local athletes for more than 30 years.

I must admit that I was only vaguely aware of the Hall, which is located in the Clearwater Arena, until this year. Like most people, I suspect, I only heard about it once a year, when the newest batch of inductees was announced.

But last April I became a member of the board of directors, an experience that has been a real eye opener.

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Local candidates don’t matter anymore

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 10:17 -- Dan McCaffery

If you’re wondering who will win the upcoming federal election in Sarnia-Lambton, just wait until October and study the national opinion polls.

That’s because history shows us that local candidates don’t matter anymore – at least not here.

There was a time, especially at the provincial level, when an individual candidate could make a difference.

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Ontario is a moderate place

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 09:52 -- Dan McCaffery

The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party appears to have shot itself in the foot – again.

The party committed a major blunder this spring by choosing Barrie MP Patrick Brown as its new leader.

Brown has not exactly set the world on fire since first being elected to the House of Commons in 2006. If he was really leadership material, you’d have to think Prime Minister Stephen Harper would have handed him a cabinet position at some point during the nine years he spent on Parliament Hill.

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Innovation needed for Tourism

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 10:08 -- Dan McCaffery

There’s a lot of talk these days about making Sarnia a port of call for a Great Lakes cruise ship.

Proponents of the idea say such a development would pump much-needed tourism dollars into the local economy.

And they’re right.

But to make it happen we will have to offer a great deal more to tourists than what we have available today.

Of course we have some beautiful golf courses and a few sandy beaches, but that’s not enough. Not by a long shot. People can swim and golf pretty much anywhere.

Put simply, we need more attractions.

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Province needs to sort it out

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 09:39 -- Dan McCaffery

Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey needs to take action to get two major local problems solved.

Specifically, he needs to arrange a meeting with the Minister of Education and the Minister of Health to discuss what to do with the old Sarnia General Hospital site and the abandoned St. Pat’s High School building on East Street.

Much haggling has been going on in recent months as various groups have put forward proposals for those two facilities.


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