With a pair of high-profile St. Thomas court cases in the past couple of years dealing with abuse and neglect, this week’s announcement the province is proposing a new animal welfare system is encouraging news for animal advocates. The legislation was introduced Tuesday (Oct. 29) by Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and, according to a release from MPP Jeff Yurek, “includes the strongest penalties ever in Canada for people who violate animal welfare laws and a more robust enforcement system.” No specifics, however, are contained in the release introducing the Provincial Animal Welfare System (PAWS) Act as to what those penalties may be. “Ontarians can be confident that the government is proposing a system that will protect animals,” assured Jones.
It seems like just yesterday that Ald. Gord Campbell made this observation regarding Ascent, formerly St. Thomas Holdings Inc.
“I can’t support this recommendation. St. Thomas Holdings had a difficult year, lost some money.”
Campbell was referring to a council vote a month or so ago on whether the Ascent board of directors should receive a hike in remuneration. Board members currently receive in the neighbourhood of $8,500 for attending 10 or so meetings a year and then chairman, Ald. Tom Johnston, was seeking an unspecified increase in that compensation.
Thankfully, council was united in deep-sixing the motion.
But, when Campbell notes they “lost some money,” how much might that be?
Lots. Continue reading →
Nearly a decade after it was first announced Chatham’s Navistar plant would close, it has become a reality.
The final death knell came Tuesday — more than two years after the Richmond Street truck assembly facility has sat idled — when Navistar International Corporation issued a news release announcing its plans to close the plant.
The company blamed the inability to reach a collective bargaining agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers union as the reason operations were halted since June of 2009.
However, the union has continually stated it couldn’t get the company to the bargaining table.
CAW Local 127 president Aaron Neaves said, “it’s hard to negotiate, quite frankly, with yourself.”
It’s another body shot to southwestern Ontario, the province’s manufacturing engine that has been decimated over the past couple of years with the loss of several thousand jobs alone in St. Thomas/ Elgin – which is bracing for the closure of Ford Canada’s St. Thomas Assembly Plant this fall.
The announced closure of Navistar International Truck’s Chatham facility today is a devastating blow to the workers, their families and the entire community, said CAW President Ken Lewenza.
“Despite our relentless efforts since 2009 to reopen the idled facility and get our members back to work, Navistar has remained rigid and is now moving ahead with plans to shutter the plant,” Lewenza said, following the company’s formal announcement. Continue reading →
Talk about a Mexican stand-off — The CAW wants the Navistar plant in Chatham back up and running, with its members back on the assembly line in numbers; the municipality wants the plant operational, even if it’s not pumping out trucks; and the company wants to run a pared-down operation with one-20th of the workforce that once worked there.
Through it all, 5,000 heavy-duty trucks recently ordered by J.B. Hunt Transportation Services Inc. will likely be built in Mexico because the Chatham facility is idled.
Talk about a mess.
About 150 people marched through Chatham Monday and into council chambers to seek help from council. They want to see pressure on the provincial and federal governments to get involved to help entice Navistar get the plant running again, and give people their jobs back.
Council will let the senior governments, as well as the company and the union, know how important it is for Chatham-Kent to have the truck plant operational once more. Full story