Aileen Carroll’s path of destruction continues

Vandals take their toll on Alma amphitheatre

Vandals take their toll on Alma amphitheatre

From Bob Foster in Brampton, Ont
Monday September 28th,2009 marked 16 months to the day that we lost Alma College in St.Thomas,Ontario.On the property at 96 Moore Street 2 buildings remain standing,as does the unique outdoor amphi-theatre.The thousands of Alma supporters would like our culture minister to designate the property with “Provincial Heritage Designation”,so the property will be protected from any further neglect.The chapel and music building have remained untouched since the May 2008 inferno completely destroyed beautiful & historic Alma College,sadly the outdoor amphi-theatre which was restored by residents of St.Thomas shortly after the fire,is now facing a daily dose of vandalism.Our culture minister has failed to see the historic value of this property and 2 remaining structures.In the headlines almost on a daily basis is our culture minister handing out millions of dollars to one organization or another,yet funds cannot be provided to fully restore the 2 remaining structures and outdoor amphi-theatre,at 96 Moore Street.If the property was protected with heritage designation,this would pave the way for the last remaining part of the Alma College legacy,to be preserved for future generations to enjoy.Aileen Carroll failed 16 months ago to properly designate Alma College,which more than likely would have prevented this tragedy from ever taking place,and instead of mourning the loss,we would have been celebrating the grand re-opening of this once magnificent structure.The Alma supporters ask Aileen Carroll to recognize the huge contribution 96 Moore Street has made to our province.The property is at risk of becoming a distant memory,but with government intervention the property could once again become a valuable part of St.Thomas.16 months of silence from Aileen Carroll is not a positive sign from the one person who is supposed to champion the cause of preserving our heritage,instead we are left to wonder,WHO IS PROTECTING OUR PAST?

Ontario’s economy cannot prosper without a vigorous manufacturing sector

Formet Industries, St. Thomas

Formet Industries, St. Thomas

Posted by Ian:
Thanks to Serge Lavoie for the heads up on this positive look at this region’s manufacturing base. With plants and factories shuttered the length of South Edgeware and the Ford plant teetering, let’s hope that indeed the industrial engine is just idling.
So, here is the key question posed by the Toronto Star:

Without a revitalized manufacturing base, Ontario has little chance of a healthy economic recovery that delivers the good jobs and high productivity we need for sustainable prosperity.

So a key question as we face a federal election some time in the next 12 months is which party, Conservative or Liberal, can deliver the most effective manufacturing strategy for the province.
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Small towns contributing to their own demise

An exodus of young people seeking education, adventure and success in bigger cities, combined with economic upheaval that has left little opportunity for those who stayed behind, has resulted in a dramatic “hollowing out” of North America’s small communities. And worse, by not adapting to this new reality, small towns are playing a big part in their own demise.

Other regions and communities have created incentives designed to draw back their educated young people. Aniko Varpalotai, a professor specializing in rural education at the University of Western Ontario, says St. Thomas, the town she lives in just outside of London, Ont., has used tuition relief and housing benefits to entice several of the medical students who passed through its hospital to stay. In different areas of the U.S., Carr found free land programs, student loan forgiveness and attempts to improve cultural amenities.

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