Thoughts on the potential for economic development between St. Thomas and First Nations of Ontario

The following was forwarded to City Scope by St. Thomas resident Bev Walpole and illustrates the “outside-of-the-box” thinking so sorely lacking today. It’s a case of addressing a large-scale national issue with a made-in-St.Thomas solution.Please take a few moments to read Bev’s paper and feel free to comment. This is certainly far removed from the initiatives currently being floated by local politicians and business development groups . . .

From 1978-1985 I was a public health inspector working for the federal department then known as Health and Welfare Canada, Medical Services Branch. My duties included advising Inuit and First Nations communities about sanitation and environmental issues. My work took me throughout the Northwest Territories, part of what is now Nunavut, Northern Saskatchewan and the province of Manitoba. During those years I encountered problems in those communities such as inadequate housing, inadequate and improper disposal of sewage, unsafe water supplies and the myriad of social issues endured by the citizens of those communities.

Throughout those years, I did my best to advocate for more and better housing, clean, safe water supplies and safe disposal of sewage and household wastes. I approached my own department as well as the Department of Indian affairs on behalf of the communities. I encouraged the leaders of the community to work towards improvement of conditions on their reserves and villages. The response from the community leaders was to ask where the money would come from to improve their situation. The Federal government departments for whom I worked and to whom I advocated on behalf of the communities responded with excuses such as “there is no money; resources are limited; and they’ll only wreck it anyway.” It was frustrating to visit these isolated communities, each time reporting on conditions and submitting recommendations for improvement and realizing that probably nothing would be done to make the situation better. I recall mentioning to a friend that if the temperature was to increase in the northern communities, disease would spread like wildfire because of the improper disposal of human waste, and the consumption of untreated or improperly treated water supplies.
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Somebody missed the bus with this press release


A press release from the Chamber of Commerce created an instant stir on the Times-Journal Facebook page after it was posted late Thursday afternoon.
The advisory, from the pen of Chamber CEO Bob Hammersley, “No New Year’s Bus Service?” suggested “there will likely be no free New Year’s Eve bus service in St. Thomas this year.”
A service underwritten by MADD Canada’s St. Thomas-Elgin Chapter for the past four years.
Was this confirmed with Mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman or staff at city hall, or was Hammersley jumping to conclusions?
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Hospital CEO pay to soar as boards use big banks to justify excess

The following is a media release from Service Employees International Union (SEIU). It’s a situation residents of St. Thomas/Elgin can relate to with the case of St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital CEO Paul Collins’ retire/rehire in June 2010 in a classic example of double dipping. While his salary is stable this year, watch for the nature of salary increases over the remainder of his five-year contract.

TORONTO, Dec. 9, 2011 /CNW/ – Hospital CEO pay will only continue to soar in the wake of a report that uses the salaries of big-bank CEOs and millionaire insurance executives as a benchmark, according to a union representing more than 50,000 healthcare workers in Ontario.

“Hospital CEOs are out of touch and should be held accountable to the public, not to Bay Street,” said Sharleen Stewart, head of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

SEIU called on Ontario to follow the example of other provinces by stepping in to directly set compensation for executives at publicly-funded hospitals, starting with a salary cap. The union representing hospital workers urged the province to conduct a truly-independent review – with input from frontline staff – that looks at excessive layers of management in the health system.

“Public hospitals were built to provide people with necessary medical care, not for executives to use as personal piggy banks.”
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