With just 99 days until the federal election, you might very well be wondering who the Liberal party has tasked with attempting to unseat incumbent Karen Vecchio in Elgin-Middlesex-London (EML) riding.
Well, the short answer is no one.
The nomination meeting was originally scheduled for January and here we are midway through July with no designated candidate although we know Lori Baldwin-Sands has filed papers.
Will she be acclaimed at some point in the very near future?
A phone call to David Goodwin of the federal Liberal riding association should result in some answers.
“They haven’t called the nomination yet,” advised Goodwin.
The frustration was clearly evident in the voice of Pauline Wimbush. “It’s like having a child or a pet that you are neglecting.”
Friday was her “day in court,” so to speak, when she was invited to city hall to present her concerns about living next door to a derelict house at 46 Kains St. — whose owner continues to pay property taxes but resides in Holland.
In attendance were CAO Wendell Graves, chief building inspector Chris Peck, bylaw enforcement officer Rob McDonald and St. Thomas Fire Chief Rob Broadbent.
All sympathized with Wimbush but were in agreement there is no quick fix.
To the chagrin of Wimbush who, due to increasing difficulty navigating stairs in her large home, is anxious to sell and move to a single-storey residence.
Sponsorship or grant, council made the right decision by not immediately approving a request to financially support a new Elgin Business Resource Centre and St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce awards event.
We dwelt on this last week and our municipal officials hashed it around Monday before turning thumbs down on the $5,000 call for support from chamber president Bob Hammersley, who wanted the process fast-tracked.
This is one more reason why the city should follow the lead of Elgin county council and put the hammer down on all new grant requests.
Ratepayers should not be on the hook to support various causes and events cherry-picked by council for consideration.
A public information session will be held Wednesday at the Timken Centre to unveil plans for the three potential sites for the city’s new skate park.
However, a T-J reader writes to urge one of those locations be struck from the list. Specifically, Jonas Park, which has been promoted as a skatepark venue dating back to 2003.
It is being touted along with the yet-to-be conceived Joanne Brooks Memorial Park on Inkerman Street and the Timken Centre.
Jim Collard has been a resident for more than 40 years in the Ross and Wellington street part of town that encompasses Jonas, Lydia, Verna and Barnes streets and he and his neighbours contend this quiet residential area of St. Thomas is no place to plonk down a skateboard park.
Budget deliberations are a critical indicator of the direction city council will follow in the coming fiscal year and the sometimes quirky priorities of our municipal representatives.
After a warm-up session Thursday, council will get down to brass tacks on Monday as they tackle Part 1 of the 2012 capital budget.
Members are being asked to approved expenditures of just over $8 million, of which $2 million will be sourced through the 2012 property tax levy, the same as 2011.
In total, the requests for capital in 2012 total $22.4 million, requiring property tax supported funding of $9.5 million.
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?
After two failed attempts to return to municipal council in St. Thomas (in 2006 and this past October), Peter Ostojic now wants to skate in the provincial arena.
Mid-week, Ostojic announced he would love to represent the city at Queen’s Park and has entered the fray to become the Progressive Conservative candidate for Elgin-Middlesex-London in this fall’s provincial vote.
It’s a crowded field — when announcing his intention, there were six other hopefuls. That’s down to five now that Bill Fehr left in a huff, mortified that former MPP Peter North has the temerity to ask for the confidence of riding constituents in a bid to resurrect his political career.
Not one to pass on the opportunity to gain political traction, Ostojic dropped City Scope a line to pick up on where Bob McCaig left off last week in his call to action for the community to financially support St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital. Read here
To recap, civic booster McCaig checked in to advise, “I am far more concerned about the long-term damage being done to our hospital by city council’s failure to make any contribution to the hospital’s capital fund, as was promised under the mayoralty of Peter Ostojic.”
An ambitious proposal to beautify the downtown streetscape is a winner in all regards, with one notable exception.
The expected price tag of close to $9 million will likely ensure this vision will shine no further than the bookshelf where so many other studies and reports reside.
The twin roadblocks of the city’s ever-burgeoning debt load and that queasy feeling associated with selling this to constituents in an election year are formidable obstacles to conquer.
Right plan, wrong time.
Shelling out millions for trees, flowers and upgrades to infrastructure to ensure Christmas lights twinkle along Talbot is a tough sell when St. Thomas is treading to stay afloat economically.
TORONTO — The impact of the closure of a Ford assembly plant in southwestern Ontario will extend far beyond the plant itself, costing the region thousands of spinoff jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue, according to union officials and local politicians.
Ford (NYSE:F) announced Friday the plant in St. Thomas, near London, will close in 2011 due to a lack of demand for the full-sized sedans it produces.
The closure of a major manufacturing facility can be disastrous to the region in which it’s located, and Canadian Auto Workers president Ken Lewenza estimated that 6,000 spinoff jobs will be lost above and beyond the 1,400 workers directly employed by the plant.