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Letter: Former mayor takes issue with Melanson’s comments

By: Letter to the Editor

 | Apr 16, 2014 - 11:38 AM |
Re: Article “City critic turns candidate,” which appeared in the April 10 edition of Northern Life.

I have to respond to comments by Mr. Melanson recently published in the media. Apparently, he was declaring himself a candidate for mayor in the upcoming municipal election. He stated that “we are a broken city.”

No, Mr. Melanson, we are not a broken city. We are the largest populated city in Northern Ontario; we are the largest geographic city in Ontario; we are a major mining centre of the world; we are home to some 400 small and medium-sized companies producing goods and services for the mining industry — 65 percent of which are exported beyond Greater Sudbury; we are home to Laurentian University and two colleges that educate students from across Canada and the world; we are home to a medical school, a school of architecture, a mining research centre, a centre for Occupational Health and Safety in Mining; we are home to a Cancer Treatment Centre and a Cancer Research Centre; we are home to Health Sciences North, which provides both active health care and pharmacological research; we boast a science centre that is counted among the best six science centres in the world; we house the Geriatric Centre for Northeastern Ontario; outside of Quebec, we are one of only two cities, Ottawa is the other, where there is a continuum of French language education from junior kindergarten to post secondary; we are home to a world class fresh water ecology centre on Ramsey Lake; we are recognized by the U.N. as a city that has rejuvenated our environment after years of soil and water degradation; we are home to an art gallery, a symphony orchestra, several theatres — both professional and amateur; several choirs, including Octatonic Decadence, call Greater Sudbury home.

No, Mr. Melanson, we are not a broken city. We are a city with huge challenges and potentialities that require political leaders who have the vision and foresight to inspire us all to rise to our collective highest common factor, not to reduce us to our lowest common denominator.

Furthermore, Mr. Melanson, we are proud to be Greater Sudburians and we reject politicians who, because of their myopic vision, try to make us feel lesser.

John R. Rodriguez
Greater Sudbury

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