City of St. Thomas to unveil a-track-tive new corporate brand


city_scope_logo-cmykSubject to council approval Monday, the city will no longer be officially known as the Corporation of the City of St. Thomas, but instead St. Thomas – The Railway City.

And with it, new branding courtesy of adHome – an advertising and digital agency based in London – and a city administrative team composed of various department staff.

The new identity for the city is designed to “reflect a strong, close-knit community that’s continually looking to move forward,” according to city manager Wendell Graves.

In addition, it is designed to “reflect a vibrant culture and progressive business ideals looking to the future with a nod to the past,” continues Graves in his report to council.

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Poverty is more than a ‘whole bunch of little problems’


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Close to 50 individuals gathered Thursday in the YWCA gym for a municipal all-candidates meeting hosted by the Bridges out of Poverty program.
In a campaign dominated by seemingly endless debate over a home for the police service, those enjoying a simple lunch at the Y were seeking any sign of hope from candidates on grass-roots issues like poverty, homelessness and low-paying jobs.
For the most part, they had to chew on simplistic campaign fodder.
In fact, a couple of the candidates put forth an embarrassingly feeble effort as they attempted to answer the question, “How do you address poverty in St. Thomas?”
One individual spent most of his allotted time pushing his over-inflated bio on those in attendance and then dropped this clinker, “poverty is a whole bunch of little problems.”
Nice to know whether you can afford to pay the rent or buy food when there is too much month at the end of the money is one of those “little problems.”
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Closing the hospital labs? We’ll notify you about that


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An upbeat interview in Friday’s Times-Journal with Paul Jenkins, the new executive director of the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital Foundation.
He is the individual who assumes the position previously held by Allan Weatherall who, like Malcolm Hopkins, didn’t fit into the long-term game plan of hospital CEO Paul Collins.
Well Paul’s fundraising endeavors may become that much more difficult based on information forwarded to City Scope on Friday.
As we understand matters, the downsizing/outsourcing may very well continue with pathology labs now housed at the hospital possibly about to be shuttered at the end of the year.
We don’t have a handle on number of people who might be impacted, although some of the work undertaken could be moved, possibly to Woodstock General Hospital. The remainder of the work would likely be assumed by a London facility.
A bit of a complication here though. The St. Thomas jobs are unionized whereas the Woodstock workplace is non-union so some negotiating would be in order.
The union – which has to be given five months notice – was apparently notified of this situation on July 11. That would mean the final day of employment in the STEGH labs would be on or around Dec. 11.
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Questions need to be asked about hospital’s $13 million ask


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The redevelopment undertaking at St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital was re-scoped earlier this year by the Dalton McGuinty government. However the hospital doesn’t appear to have re-scoped its financial expectations from the city/county/ratepayers.
The original capital redevelopment project came with a price tag estimated at $106 million, with a local commitment of 10% or roughly $11 million (although the hospital was seeking $13 million from the city/county/community).
The hospital board of governors has acknowledged – via a letter dated April 4, 2012 from board chairman Bruce Babcock to health minister Deb Matthews – the project cost has been reduced to $45 million.
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And the new direction at STEGH is . . .?


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Here’s your hat, there’s the door. That’s much the fashion in which Allan Weatherall was bounced from his position Wednesday as hospital foundation executive director.
The announcement from foundation board president Susan O’Brien couldn’t have been more terse.
“The board is seeking leadership that will fit with the future direction of the foundation.”
When O’Brien and CEO Paul Collins were asked specifically what this new direction is, both were vague at best.
“The foundation board still anticipates a major capital campaign,” advised Collins. “This is all connected to the re-scoped exercise that we are working on with the Ministry of Health and we’re hoping that we have that project.”

Allan Weatherall

Sounds like plenty of doubt and no clear direction on the campaign compass.
Do you think the beginning of the end for Weatherall was his personal email to Ald. Sam Yusuf back in April in which the executive director expressed disappointment the city had no plans to put aside hospital redevelopment funds in its Part 2 capital budget?
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With regrets, your appointee doesn’t cut it


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It’s like watching the proverbial train wreck in slow motion . . . and, you’ve got a front seat.
The board of directors at St. Thomas Elgin-General Hospital and city council are destined to butt heads, once again.
And, the object of their attention is none other than Ald. Sam Yusuf.
Let’s run the video back to Tuesday, when the hospital held its annual general meeting and elected Paul Bode as board chairman for a two-year term.
And, things were proceeding nicely from that point.
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Hey, I was just trying to be helpful!


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The Oopsie of the Week award winner is no contest as Ald. Sam Yusuf’s decision to forward a personal email from the executive-director of the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital Foundation on to all members of council proved to be somewhat embarrassing, especially to its author, Allan Weatherall.
While Weatherall asserts, after the fact, there was no ill intent in his correspondence to Yusuf, the Times-Journal has obtained a copy of the email and it definitely has a sucker-punch quality to it.
He is miffed the city will not put aside hospital funding in the 2012 city budget.
“That is not forward thinking at all as the hospital will in some form, in some way need rebuilding. So why does the city not set some money aside to be ready for a time when it will be required? That is true community leadership and forward thinking, being proactive and not reactive.”
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