Sunday, April 11, 2010


To :Ursula Bennet of Mississauga Watch :

Let children play

Dear Editor:
On Easter Monday, a dozen of my neighbours on Maple Gate Circle received a Notice of Contravention related to basketball nets located on driveways and we were ordered to remove them from "City Property" by April 08, 2010.
According to the notice, nets are violating by-law 0057-2004.

First of all, as a parent of a very active kid who is a rep basketball player, I was angry and disappointed at a person who placed the complaint. Our neighbourhood seems friendly. People know each other, kids are polite, they don't cause any trouble ... so I couldn't figure out who could be bothered by kids playing basketball.

Also, I'm sure that safety of the kids is not an issue since smaller kids are supervised by parents, and older ones do not cause any problem. They often play in backyards or inside the houses together.

Secondly, since obesity is a big problem in the country, wouldn't we rather watch our kids playing sports then video games?
Families in the Montreal communities of NDG, and Dollard des Ormeaux are having a problem with kids playing hockey in the streets in front of their homes. Not only is there the incessant noise that upsets their home life, but there is the very real danger that some car, some biker, will not be able to stop. 
There are parks for play. There are local recreation facilities, the YMCA, the local arenas. Many people have furnished basements and lawns. Schools have yards and churches have grounds. Children can't be expected to make intelligent decisions. The parents who allow this are responsible - at least as much as the driver who kills your child by accident.
Decades ago, a little tot in my DDO neighbourhood was struck down while trying to cross the little street to the circle park nearby. I had implored the DDO council to put a STOP sign at that corner for a long time, but I always got the inevitable run-around. The day after the tiny boy ended up in hospital, I got my stop sign and it is still there to this day.
But nothing changes. Once elected, the minor tyrants on city councils live in their ivory towers and brush off the experience and efforts of the real people of the area. They don't listen and they care only for their own interests and benefits. They become little emperors and they do as they please.
The local English language Cote St. Luc weekly THE SUBURBAN is promoting hockey in the streets - in spite of letters from residents pleading for sanity. This is a very powerful newspaper. What do we have, we ordinary people? We have the WORLD WIDE WEB. We have GOOGLE. We have FACEBOOK. We have our Blogs And we have each other.
You live in Ontario, I, in Quebec, but these are universal problems. What we have in common is a desire for justice and, together, with the platform of the World Wide Web, we have the power to make things better.
Phyllis Carter

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