Sarnia could designate its first spot for the scattering of cremated remains.
City officials have been tasked to investigate designating an area where residents could bring the ashes of their loved ones for a private scattering ceremony. Mayor Mike Bradley brought forward
the request for council's consideration Monday after he recently met with funeral home director Tom Wolfe and resident Jaggi Singh to discuss the concept
of a scattering spot with benches along the St. Clair River.
“One of the locations we talked about was, because of the St. Clair, the Point lands because of the flow of the river and everything else,” Bradley said last week.
Bev MacDougall supported Bradley's request Monday night to examine the possible creation of a designated scattering spot.
“I've known Mr. Singh for a long time, and I know we're working hard to become a diverse and inclusive community, and along with that,
I think we need to be open to the expression of other cultures and the rituals around something as profound as end of life,” she said.
Under Ontario law, cremated remains can be scattered on Crown land, which includes provincial parks, conservation areas and the Great Lakes,
as long as it's unoccupied and there is no signage prohibiting scattering.
Cremated remains can also be scattered on municipally-owned lands, as well as on private properties with the consent of the landowner.
Bradley said there's still a misconception that it's illegal to scatter remains, particularly in the St. Clair River.
“People think they're breaking the law,” he said last week. “They're scared to have people down there to do it.”
He hopes a designated spot will resolve some of those concerns.
By Barbara Simpson, Sarnia Observer