Should we go or stay, the answer after this time out


We haven’t harangued the brass at Elgin St. Thomas Public Health in some time, but that
doesn’t mean they have eluded the City Scope radar.

There is a sense the contentious issue of a new home for the organization is about to surface in the not-too-distant future.

When we last left the health unit in the twilight of the previous board of directors, there was a deep rift between the city council reps — staunchly in favour of locating to new digs — and the county contingent — firmly looking to preserve the status quo with the organization remaining in the county-owned building at 99 Edward St.

This week, the health unit and the county agreed to a one-year extension of the existing lease that will see the organization stay put until the end of 2013.
Continue reading

Ma Ferguson offered equal justice to the little people


A last-minute addition to the City Scope lineup this week, predicated by the death Tuesday of Edra Sanders Ferguson in her 105th year of “an overflowing life.”

The Times-Journal, and this corner in particular, championed “Ma Ferguson” as she was known for many years by Toronto lawyers.

The photo on the front page of Friday’s T-J offers a tantalizing taste of the individual who served as the first woman alderman in St. Thomas; to initiate a Red Cross Clinic in Guelph; and to be appointed the first Division Court judge in Ontario (later to become the Small Claims Court).

St. Thomas native and Order of Canada recepient Edra Ferguson, left, and Tara Muzumdar, the Belmont House Nursing Home employee who nominated her.

We will forever cherish the personal note from Edra’s nephew, St. Thomas lawyer John Sanders, sent this past June after the announcement she was to receive the Order of Canada for her contributions in the fields of law and women’s rights — the oldest person ever to receive the Order of Canada.

Better yet, today’s (Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011) Bygones photo on page 2, sent along by Gina Coady at Elgin County Archives, transports us back to 1926 and a striking Edra as a member of the Alma College debating team.
Continue reading

Mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman reports on trade mission to Japan

St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation
A Member of the Southwestern Ontario Marketing Alliance (SOMA)
SOMA Trade Mission to Japan – November, 2011

The Southwestern Ontario Marketing Alliance (SOMA),, is a partnership of seven Southwestern Ontario communities grown out of natural economic ties. The members of SOMA include St. Thomas, Stratford, St. Marys, Woodstock, Ingersoll, Tillsonburg and Aylmer. With the sole mandate of marketing and promoting the region as a prime location for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), SOMA’s objectives are clear – to generate investment and provide employment opportunities for its member municipalities.
Continue reading

Official statement from STEGH CEO Paul Collins on legal cases brought forward

Update on lawsuits filed by former patients of Dr. Cathy Frank. Those named in the lawsuits include St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital and CEO Paul Collins.

Here is release from legal firm issued Friday, Nov. 11:

Legate & Associates can advise that, since releasing the details of lawsuits undertaken on behalf of three women who were patients of Dr. Cathy Frank, over 50 women have come forward. The cases range from 2006 to 2010. Legate & Associates has been advised that complaints were made to the College of Physicians and Surgeons as early as 2006. It is expected that many more lawsuits will be issued.
Continue reading

Who wrote the book on cost of library move?


Just how far do some people feel the pockets of taxpayers will stretch?

Well, if you’re library CEO Rudi Denham or board chairman Greg Grondin, you must think the budgets of hard-working city families are as flexible as Gumby and Pokey.

Can you believe they came to council Monday and openly admitted the costs of moving to, and relocating in, their temporary home at Elgin Mall were unanticipated and unbudgeted?

Did you expect the books, CDs and DVDs would wander over by themselves? And the good folks at the mall would let you set up shop at no cost whatsoever? Kind of an Occupy St. Thomas?
Continue reading

Up against the Green Monster of financial reality


How often have we asked rhetorically: “What will it take to get something done in this city?”

Does it take a 66-year-old senior crashing face first on to the sidewalk to get the bare minimum of maintenance done to a hazardous stretch of pavement?

Apparently that’s not enough.

Five working days after this unfortunate incident, the sum total of remedial work undertaken by the city is a red safety cone and a pair of painted crisscrosses to mark the spot.
Continue reading