Category Archive Media

2020 United Way Campaign

United Way campaign nears 40% of objective.

United Way of Sarnia-Lambton has now reached over $725,000 as it nears the 40 per cent level of the 2020 needs target of $1,900,000.

“We continue to see some good results in this year’s drive so far even though we remain behind last year’s pace,” said campaign chair Vicky Ducharme. “I am most impressed with the fact that we are picking up new donors at work sites, through the mail, and even through our online giving portal.”

Ducharme pointed to the Lambton Federation of Agriculture as an example of great news.

“Each year, the (federation) sponsors our Locally Lambton Dinner,” she said. “This year, we are unable to hold the event and auction, so the (federation) stepped up to double their previous year’s support for this year’s drive. We are so grateful for that kind of support.”

LFA Board President, Gary Martin met with United Way volunteer Vice Presdent, Al McChesney this week to present a cheque for $1000.

Ducharme said they are continuing to see great support from the agricultural community overall with an increase in personal contributions from local farms, but also several local farmers are donating food items for the recently announced shepherd’s pie and lasagna takeout event with the Dante Club.

“The Lambton Cattlemen’s Association is donating all the ground beef for the dinners, and Earth Fresh Farms in Grand Bend is donated the potatoes for the meals as well,” Ducharme said. “A number of local grocery stores have pitched in, including Bright’s Grove Foodland and Metro in Sarnia.”

The United Way has partnered with the Dante Club to offer a deep-dish shepherd’s pie and deep-dish lasagna in two sizes and will be available for pick up on Friday, Nov. 20, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Details on prices are being worked out and will be announced shortly. The meals are provided frozen so they can be stored immediately in the freezer or reheated that night.

To order your meals, or for more information, please call the United Way at 519-336-5452, or email

If individuals cannot pick up their meals on Nov. 20, alternate arrangements can easily be made.

“We are hoping people like the meals so much, they will call us back to see if we still have some in stock, and they can buy additional meals for their freezer for use over the upcoming holidays.” she said. “With the meals being frozen, there is no waste, and we are guaranteed to sell out.”

In addition to the donations from the agriculture community, Ducharme said Libro Credit Union, with three locations in Sarnia and Lambton County, is sponsoring the event as they have for the past several years for the Locally Lambton Dinner.

On The Dot Delivery service is having a bottle drive for the United Way. If you have any beer or liquor bottles or cans, you can call to have them picked up on Saturday, Nov. 15, or can drop them off at the parking lot of Christos on Exmouth Street and Colborne Road.

You also have the option to have a delivery driver to pick up the bottles anytime beginning Monday up to Saturday, Nov. 14 from porches, open garages, whatever is arranged between the donor and On the Dot Delivery.

To have bottles picked up, please call 519-383-5566 or the United Way.

The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton campaign will run until the end of the year and funds over 36 programs and services. To donate, call 519 336-5452 or log on to

~Dave Brown~
The Sarnia Observer


September 2020 Today’s Farmer

Feature article in Today’s Farmer

September 2020 Today’s Farmer page 10

September 2020 Today’s Farmer front page

Lambton Federation of Agriculture Food Bank Challenge

The Lambton Federation of Agriculture donated $1000.00 to the Inn of the Good Shepherd and $1000.00 split among each of Lambton County’s rural Food Banks each to the Inn of the Good Shepherd and Lambton County Food Banks to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on the less fortunate within the community.

“Physical distancing has prevented us from delivering them in person, but the cheques are on their way and in the mail,” said Gary Martin, President of the Federation.

The Lambton Federation of Agriculture as well as other agricultural commodity groups recognize the urgency of the situation in the city as well as in the foodbanks scattered throughout the county.

The Lambton Federation of Agriculture is challenging everyone in the community to donate to local Food Banks and the Inn of the Good Shepherd. A list of acceptable items, drop off times, and locations can be found here:

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Ag minister talks trespassing bill with farmers

Ontario’s agriculture minister spent the afternoon near Sarnia Thursday, meeting with farmers and agriculture sector officials to talk about his bill to crack down on farm trespassing and protests interfering with livestock processing, including trucking.

“We’re protecting the right of the people who are producing our food to make sure they can guarantee that it’s safe food and their animals are being kept safe,” said Ernie Hardeman, listing the spread of disease and contamination of food as potential fallouts from break-ins, often by animal-rights activists, on farm properties.

Ontario Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Ernie Hardeman meets with farmers and the agricultural sector officials from the Lambton Federation of Agriculture at the County of Lambton administration building in Wyoming Thursday. Hardeman, along with Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey, was taking questions about and discussing the government’s proposed Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act.

The proposed Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, which Hardeman hopes will pass third reading over the next few months, ups trespassing fines to $15,000 for first offences and to $25,000 for subsequent offences. The proposed legislation also allows courts to order restitution for any injury, loss or damage caused as a result of an offence, and would increase protection for farmers against civil liability from people hurt while trespassing on their property.

The current maximum trespassing fine is $10,000.

The legislation would not take away the right to protest, Hardeman said, but is aimed at providing security for farmers and their families, whose businesses and homes are often the same.

“So if you want to protest and send a message, do it from the other side of the fence – do it on the sidewalk, do it on public property,” Hardeman said at the Wyoming, Ont., meeting. “But don’t do it and put our food supply at risk.”

The legislation would enable police to charge people with a crime for being in an “animal-safety zone” without authorization, he said, while current legislation does not.

“We have given law enforcement new tools and a better description of what they can do … when someone is where they are, where they shouldn’t be, against the wishes of the property owner,” he said.

Money from fines would go to municipalities, not the province, he said. Hardeman added he doesn’t see the legislation generating any ongoing increased cost for municipalities.

He has plans to meet with Indigenous leaders to assure them their ability to hunt and fish won’t be impacted by the legislation, he said.

The Lambton County stop Thursday was one of about nine community consultations held so far this week, he said. He hopes feedback from farmers will be incorporated into refining the bill.

Some have suggested trespass protections should be extended to pastures, beyond just where animals are transported and processed, he said.

That won’t be included in this bill but could be something the government looks at next, he said.

“I did assure people that after this bill is passed we’re going to work on all challenges farmers face to see if we can solve all the challenges we have.”

Critics of the legislation said it could put a chill on whistleblowers exposing cases of animal abuse, given a provision that prohibits gaining access to a farm or processing plant under “false pretenses.”

~Tyler Kula~
The Sarnia Observer


Safety from ‘aggressive’ animal-rights activists

The concerns are nothing new. But the province is beginning to listen, Warwick mayor Jackie Rombouts said, citing a conversation she had with Progressive Conservative MPP Ernie Hardeman at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference this summer. Hardeman is Ontario’s agriculture minister.

Farmers did not necessarily score a legal win at the Sept. 4 meeting, settling instead for the official support of county council. After the meeting Sarnia councillor Bill Dennis said he would bring their safety concerns to city council as well.

“I know myself, as a livestock producer, I have concerns,” said George Dickenson, a Lambton Federation of Agriculture member and long-time mental health advocate. “But I’m happy with their response. I’m happy Jackie brought the motion forward. I guess it’s (more about) the response that happens at the provincial level, the legal level.”

“I think they all get it,” added Gary Martin, another Lambton Federation of Agriculture member.

The concerns fall into two categories. Lambton County farmers, already worried about a projected loss in annual crop sales they call “unprecedented,” are worried about their personal safety and the safety of their staff, as well as truck drivers.

Video cameras do not help either, Martin said, not when Internet speeds are spotty (at best) in many places around the region.

The other issue is with the justice system, where McCabe says criminal activity is often overlooked and charges against animal rights activists, like McQueen, are often dropped.

~Louis Pin~
Sarnia & Lambton County This Week