A bottle of wine and block of cheese for culture minister Aileen Carroll

The chapel at Alma College

The chapel at Alma College

For exactly 14 months,the supporters of 96 Moore Street in St.Thomas have been trying in vain to obtain provincial heritage designation for this historic property,but have yet to get a response from the culture ministry since the horrific fire that completely destroyed Alma College in May of 2008.The property has 130 years of rich history behind it,and 2 of the original buildings (the chapel & music building) still remain standing,and are in need of protection from the Ontario government.
Continue reading

Volume decline drives Timken loss for the quarter and reduced full-year earnings outlook

CANTON, Ohio–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR) today reported sales of $828.9 million for the second quarter of 2009, a decrease of 46 percent over the same period a year ago. The decline in sales was due to weaker demand across most of the company’s end markets, lower steel surcharges and currency, which were partially offset by improved pricing.

For the quarter, the company incurred a loss of $64.5 million, or $0.67 per share, compared with income of $88.9 million, or $0.92 per diluted share, a year ago. Excluding special items, the second-quarter loss was $20.6 million, or $0.21 per share, compared with the prior-year’s income of $92.4 million or $0.96 per diluted share. The results reflect lower sales volume and manufacturing utilization, which were partially offset by favorable pricing and cost-reduction initiatives.
Full story

Stalemate continues at Navistar’s Chatham plant

The lights remain out at Navistar’s Richmond Street truck assembly plant in Chatham.

No new talks are scheduled between CAW Locals 127 and 35 and the Chicago-based company regarding a new collective agreement.

Negotiations broke off at the end of June when the two union locals rejected company plans to downsize the Chatham operation.

“We really haven’t heard anything from the company,’’ Joe McCabe of Chatham, a CAW national representative.

McCabe said CAW president Ken Lewenza has written to the company asking for a resumption of talks.

He said company president Dan Ustian did reply to a letter from the CAW but made it clear the company was only willing to talk about its proposal.
Full story

CAW to open ‘exploratory talks’ with Ford in Sept.

7/27/2009 3:04:00 PM | Canadian Press (English)

WINDSOR – Ford and the Canadian Auto Workers union will begin what the union calls “exploratory talks” on Sept. 8th.

CAW president Ken Lewenza says the talks are a precursor to full-scale bargaining aimed at a new agreement with the automaker following the new deals reached at GM and Chrysler.

Those deals involved concessions needed to secure government bailout money, which Ford did not seek.

Lewenza says the future of Ford operations in Canada could be in question if they don’t open up the contract.

He says Ford has told the union it’s at a disadvantage because of the new deals with GM and Chrysler, but he admits the workers may not all agree that concessions are needed with Ford.

Lewenza says the goal for the union will be to keep the St. Thomas, Ont., assembly plant open until the end of the agreement, and shore up more investment for the Essex Engine plant, which will reopen in the fall.

© The Canadian Press, 2005

CAW plans battle for Ford’s St. Thomas Assembly Plant

Ford may feel political pressure to add a new product to its sprawling St. Thomas assembly plant to help keep the factory alive.

Canadian Auto Workers union officials met with area politicians about the future of the 40-year-old plant this week.

Ford has said there’s no product for the 40-year-old plant — which builds large sedans — beyond 2011.

“I’ve certainly not given up any hope until they put the padlock on the door,” said Scott Smith, chairperson of CAW Local 1520 at the plant.

The union wants Ford to build another product at the plant or extend the production of cars it builds there until the market turns around.
Full story

Elgin Horizons — what might have been the future in mental health care

A month ago in City Scope, we talked with James Mendonca, who retired as director of the Crisis and Relapse Prevention Service (CRPS) in St. Thomas in 2003.
At the time, he warned the crisis portion of the service housed at Regional Mental Health Care, St. Thomas will soon be eliminated and crisis calls will now be fielded by the local Canadian Mental Health Association office, resulting in a fragmented service in lieu of the multi-disciplinary integrated service that has admirably served St. Thomas and Elgin residents for more than 30 years.
Continue reading

Central Elgin Ratepayers Assoc. address to C.E. council July 20/09

Central Elgin Ratepayers Association, CERA, was formed primarily to influence the Council of the Municipality of Central Elgin to do the right thing when it comes to the local property tax burden.

Officially incorporated on May 15, 2009, in just two months CERA now has over 240 members. A recent survey of our members indicated that the Harbour negotiations with Transport Canada was our members’ second priority, after high taxes. Thank goodness, Dan McNeil saw fit to uncover many of the shenanigans in this protracted duel between Transport Canada and Central Elgin Council.

The community is in Harbour negotiation burnout. Only 70 citizens of a population of 12,500 showed up for the re-launched edition Harbour Community Workshop! It’s a sad, misleading commentary when media releases from the municipality and the consultants extol the great turnout at the first session. How can a $100,000 grant from Transport Canada, that’s trying to dump the Harbour on Central Elgin, not positively influence their agenda?
Continue reading

Backyard wind turbine rejected by Ontario Municipal Board

An Ottawa resident who has been lobbying to put a wind turbine in his backyard in the city’s Westboro neighbourhood has been told that his project is grinding to a halt.

Graham Findlay had applied for a variance to install what’s known as an “energy ball” on his property near Island Park Drive.

Findlay is a commercial wind arm developer with Ottawa-based 3G Energy Corporation and has said that he wants to mount that “energy ball” on a pole in his backyard to make it 10 metres high so he can produce his own energy at home.

In October, the city refused to approve his application to mount the turbine in his backyard, so he appealed through the Ontario Municipal Board.
Full story

Huron County agricultural group seeks moratorium on wind power projects

The Huron County Federation of Agriculture will be visiting municipalities throughout Huron County asking them to follow Huron East’s lead by passing interim control bylaws on commercial wind energy projects within their borders.

The federation’s directors discussed the current debate around wind turbine developments at their June meeting and passed two resolutions.

One was to request lower-tier municipalities in Huron to enact a moratorium on commercial wind energy projects pending results of an epidemiological study conducted into the health impacts of the specific infrastructure on residents living near such developments.

The other was to support the study.

President Wayne Black says he’ll be attending council meetings throughout Huron County to talk to councillors about their thoughts about wind projects.
Full story