Sarnia is about 723 km from Parliament Hill, a trip of about seven hours by car. A border town with the United States, Sarnia is accessible by Hwy. 402 which connects to the interstate system across the border. The city is also served by the Sarnia Chris Hadfield Airport which can handle small aircraft, and residents have access to Sarnia Transit bus routes to navigate the city. The city is connected by rail for freight and passengers via a tunnel to the United States.
Sarnia—Lambton is part of the St. Lawrence Seaway System and is bordered by Lake Huron and the St. Clair River, which separates it from the state of Michigan. Port Lambton, from which half the riding gets its name, sits on the St. Clair River north of Lake St. Clair.
About 10.5% of the riding’s population are immigrants, with some of the largest populations born in the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Netherlands.
Dutch and Italian are the most common non-official mother tongues in the riding.
Four per cent of the riding’s population identify as Aboriginal.
Average individual income is $49,727.
Residents of the area are an hour away from Detroit, Michigan and London, Ontario, but also have access to many recreational activities at home including parks, walking trails, arenas and a number of sports fields and theatres. SarniaLambton has a number of blue flag beaches, and an active —arts and theatre culture.
Patrick Kerwin, the 10th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, was born in Sarnia. Former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, former NHL players Mike Stapleton, Don Ward and Pat Verbeek, and PGA golfer Mike Weir were also born in the city. Olympic gold medalist, Derek Drouin, is from Corunna. Alexander Mackenzie, one of Canada’s first prime ministers is buried in the riding.
The industries that employ the most residents in the riding include manufacturing, health care and social assistance, retail and construction. About 50% of the workforce has some sort of post-secondary education. In 2011, the unemployment rate in Sarnia—Lambton was 10%. The riding has one of the highest per capita concentrations of professional engineers in Canada.
The City of Sarnia has a sustainability plan developed in 2013 that outlines areas where the city is aiming for more sustainable practices including the drinking water and wastewater systems, waste reduction and decreased chemical fertilizer use, support of “local renewable power generating technologies,” and reducing urban sprawl.
The area that would become modern Sarnia was settled in the 1830s as “The Rapids” and later became known as Port Sarnia. Shipping would play an important role in Sarnia’s growth, with plenty of timber and the discovery of oil nearby that would provide exports for years to come. Oil Springs, the smallest municipality in the riding, is the birthplace of the modern oil industry, as the first commercial oil well was discovered there.
Two rail lines would come to Sarnia in the mid 1800s, and the town was even connected to the United States by a rail tunnel under the St. Clair River in 1889. They city became known for its petrochemical production after the Second World War.
Indigenous communities in the riding include:
Aamjiwnaang First Nations
The Council of Three Fires (includes Potawatomi)
Southern First Nations Secretariat