London seeking $150 million offered Ford Canada’s St. Thomas Assembly Plant

Posted by Ian: St. Thomas and Elgin county lose the Ford plant and as a result the economic impact will be compounded via support operations like Lear Seating, trucking companies and CN who relied heavily on the St. Thomas Assembly Plant and yet London wants the entire $150 million offered by the province for its own benefit. It’s bad enough we have to deal with the London-centered school board and St. Joseph’s Health Centre for psychiatric services. However, you can ask the question, why didn’t St. Thomas staff and administration beat London to the punch? Or is that because they have no long-term economic plan in place. Where is the Economic Development Corp. and the Chamber of Commerce in this dark chapter? London is taking concrete steps to diversify its economy (read agri-business and digital media), while in St. Thomas we’re still trying to entice an automaker to locate here. Following is the full story from the London Free Press …

The City of London is going after $150 million the Ontario government is believed to have offered to save Ford of Canada’s St. Thomas assembly plant, Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best said.

The city and region could use the cash to fund a host of ambitious economic development schemes, she said.

“We continue to be impacted in a severe way. If there is money for the plant, then surely there must be money to invest in initiatives we are looking at.”

Ford Motor Co. will close the St. Thomas plant in September 2011, cutting 1,600 jobs when it ends production of the Lincoln Town Car, Mercury Grand Marquis and Crown Victoria.
Full story

Elderly man loses out in vehicle-pedestrian conflict on Elm St.

City staff have come up with a solution to unsafe crosswalks dotting the city … get rid of them.
Supervisor of Roads and Transportation David White will stand before council Monday to recommend “the removal of the pavement markings at existing Courtesy Pedestrian Crossings (17 in total including the one in front of St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital where an elderly pedestrian was struck and killed in September).”
Instead, White urges council to approve the installation of additional Pedestrian Ahead signs for advance warning.
What his report confirms is these crossings, assumed safe passages by those attempting to cross the street, are nothing more than “courtesy crossings.”
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