Opinion

Letters to the editor

Our readers write about the BME church in St. Catharines and in response to a recent Shannon Gormley column.

BME church needs our compassion

May I suggest a positive way our community can give back to those who built our community? It fits well with the mayor’s hope that we are a ‘Compassionate City.’

Some of that $4-million surplus could surely be pointed at upkeep of this site.

The article ‘Harriet Tubman’s church needs help’ speaks to our need to preserve and, more importantly, maintain this sacred destination tourist site. The BME church on Geneva Street is the only site in our city to have a three-way honour — federal, provincial and municipal plaques surround the church. Supporters have worked hard to keep it viable. It is arguably the most important heritage site in our city; the new Harriet Tubman School attests to the importance of Tubman in our city’s compassionate history.

The article points out that the establishment of the church was supported by other churches, in particular, the now Silver Spire church downtown.

However, two philanthropists of the 19th century, Oliver Phelps and William Hamilton Merritt, provided lands and funding for the church.

We need our latter-day philanthropist to speak up, please. To let this church disintegrate in any way is a shame, a certain blot on our compassionate interests.

I hope that philanthropists, city council and caring citizens will come forward to help repair and maintain this unique building.

Gail Benjafield

St. Catharines

Apologist deflection

I believe Shannon Gormley must have severe physical discomfort as a result the excessive bending over backward in her column ‘Morneau hardly alone with conflicts of interests’ (Oct. 30).

How does the bad behaviour of politicians in other western democracies explain or excuse Bill Morneau for the arrogance and elitism that led to his recent political discomfort. I find no comfort that when commenting on the plight of the transcendently wealthy and powerful she posits “and when their elite status is compromised, it is our collective political fortunes that suffer, not merely their own.”

Corruption, perceived or otherwise, must be rooted out and dealt with, not apologised for by elitist liberal op-ed writers.

Phil Heisz

Mitchell, Ont.

 



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