Forget the petition, file nomination papers


Were you one of the hundreds (thousands?) of individuals who signed the Bob McCaig petition which warned the city cannot afford to construct a new police facility?

What were your expectations with this document? No doubt most concerned ratepayers believed the petition would be presented to members of council. Perhaps in the form of a deputation. A barometer of voter frustration.

So, what exactly has happened to the petition? Is it still on display in downtown businesses awaiting further signatures?

The call to action prompted a letter to the editor Wednesday from St. Thomas lawyer Thomas Por.

In part it read, “Mr. McCaig is a great guy and he has done much for this community but, with respect, he should know better than to launch a meaningless petition which everybody signs without knowing any facts.

“If he feels that strongly about this or any other issue, he should run for council.”

Be careful what you wish, Thomas. A week remains to file nomination papers.

If you haven’t read the results yet, you can view McCaig’s St. Thomas Municipal Election Report here.

On a related note, did you notice during debate Tuesday there was a call to arms to tackle the $280 million infrastructure debt.

Reason enough not to spend millions on a new police HQ.

But hit the pause button for a second. The three aldermen raising the alarm about this staggering debt load have served a minimum one term on council and longer in the case of two individuals.

Where was the hue and cry about infrastructure debt over that period of time?

And there certainly weren’t dire warnings when it came time to commit $12 million to build a twin-pad arena.

Especially contradictory when a 2003 consultant’s report noted renovations to Northside Arena would give the city a viable facility for 20 years at a cost of just over $2 million.

When the new council is installed in January let’s hope the same attention will be paid to whittling down the debt load.


It’s a case of lights on and nobody’s home.

Elgin County Courthouse

Elgin County Courthouse

A Gladstone Ave. resident phoned to pose the question: Why are many of the lights in the new consolidated courthouse left blazing all night long?

Apart from the annoyance to neighbours, what about all the blather this is an energy-efficient building?

No sense calling the city on this one as the courts are a provincial matter.

Surely there is a logical answer.

But, who to call?

After all, the provincial Libs aren’t backing off their Green Energy Act and with it skyrocketing electricity charges. Shouldn’t the courthouse be promoted as an example of energy conservation?

Instead it’s a beacon for wayward travellers — the modern day equivalent of a Lake Erie lighthouse.


The nomination deadline for the Oct. 27 municipal vote is this coming Friday at 2 p.m.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday Cliff Barwick and Heather Jackson had filed their mayoral papers.

Safe to say Jeff Kohler will join the party to make it a three-way mayor/former mayor battle?

In the aldermanic race, 13 have announced their intention, which is about half the total we’ve seen in recent races.

In the running are John Allen, Brett Bear, Ken Boe, Gary Clarke, Mark Cosens, Jaqueline DeLeebeeck, Rose Gibson, Tom Johnston, Todd Rowley, Joan Rymal, Linda Stevenson, Mark Tinlin and Steve Wookey.

And what of Lori Baldwin-Sands? There were whispers a while back a mayoral bid may be in the offing?


With apologies to the aforementioned Todd Rowley — we were unable to promote in timely fashion his fundraising ride last weekend and that is what prompted this offer — we are now opening up real estate each week in City Scope for candidates to promote their upcoming campaign activities and events.

It’s totally non-partisan and it’s an opportunity for candidates to reach and inform the electorate.

Send along your info to the email address below.

We’ll kick off the listings with this note from Heather Jackson.

“Please join me on Saturday, September 13th from 7 – 9 p.m. at the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre as I launch my campaign platform! Feel free to share this invitation with any of your friends or neighbours who would be interested in attending.”

It’s that simple.


Dale Cummings
sent the following question our way via email.

“What is the story behind the 40k ($40,000) some people have tied Ald. Cosens to in recent days? Is this an issue that taxpayers should be made aware of?

Excellent question Dale and we will reserve as much space as needed in this corner next week in order for Ald. Cosens to respond.


And here’s our question this week.

Is it possible for the Downtown Development Board to assume debt on behalf of its members?

This is in relation to what has been called a loan transaction some time back involving $10,000.


“I believe the Colin McGregor Justice Building was both planned and constructed under the supervision of the late G. Duncan Black, who was a great engineer but no architect.”

St. Thomas lawyer Thomas Por in a letter to the editor Wednesday asserts the present police headquarters is not a viable option for renovations.

City Scope appears Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be emailed to

One thought on “Forget the petition, file nomination papers

  1. In 2010 the DDB had numerous new members elected from the business community to replace several members of a previous board under the chairmanship of Mark Cosens. It was the decision of the previous board to support a series of loans to operate two Summerblast events sponsored by CASO. The first loan was apparently re-payed but the second loan was not due to poor turnout at the event. At this point the previous board attempted to backtrack and denied this was a loan but a grant or sponsorship. Keep in mind there was no ” official” written agreement of any kind to support this position. When a new DDB board was elected the new members including a few members from the old board deemed the allocation to CASO to be a loan. Through discussions with the board of CASO and the new DDB board chaired by Dan Muscat an agreement was reached to remedy this matter. A payment plan and use of in kind services was agreed to. This information is in the public minutes of the DDB. The current DDB has and continues to do excellent job in redirecting the funds it receives to promote and advocate for a healthy downtown. Hopefully this will address the question posed regarding the $10,000 loan.


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