Contract awarded for forensic mental health care projects in St. Thomas and London

Proposed St. Thomas facility

For Immediate Release March 14, 2011
From Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Steve Peters

Environmentally-friendly facility to boost local economy during construction

ST. THOMAS – St. Joseph’s Health Care, London (St. Joseph’s) and Infrastructure Ontario announced today that Integrated Team Solutions (ITS) has signed a contract to design, build, finance and maintain two new mental health care facilities in St. Thomas and London.

Today’s announcement signals that all contractual steps are complete, the financing set and construction can begin.

Construction will start in April 2011 and is expected to be completed December 2014. The project, which will include the construction of the two facilities totalling 689,700 square feet of new space, will provide
stimulus to the local and regional economies by creating construction jobs and supporting spin-off activity.
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County to city . . . pay up or take a hike


Upon her election in October, Mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman made it clear a priority would be a harmonious relationship between the city and Elgin county.

That will be put to the test Monday when a county delegation appears before city council with the expectation of St. Thomas ponying up $118,000 this year (up from $89,000 last year) to remain in a tourism partnership with Elgin.

At the very minimum, the county is demanding $99,000, and for that piddling amount the city’s voice in the partnership would be reduced from two to a single representative.
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2010 Public Sector Salaries, County of Elgin

Figures released for 2010 (2009 salary in brackets)

BEECH-ROBERTS,RHONDA Director, Long Term Care Homes $117,125 ($110,686)
BRYCE, ROB Director of Human Resources $105,568 (new)
BUNDSCHUH, JIM $122,805 ($111,885)
MCDONALD,MARK Chief Administrative Officer $170,880 ($160,700)
WATTERS, CLAYTON Director, Engineering Services $112,819 ($110,686)

The tale of two aldermen — maturity versus entitlement


Monday’s council meeting was most decidedly the tale of two aldermen.

The definitive issue — who should attend and how much should be spent on conferences and conventions.

Council has budgeted $6,000 for attending such functions this year and four members had sought to attend the Ontario Good Roads Conference coming up in Toronto.

Sam Yusuf

Trouble is, that would eat up about $5,500 of that figure on just one junket.

Mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman and the committee chairman, in this case Ald. Tom Johnston, should be the only attendees. Ald. Sam Yusuf read the situation correctly and graciously withdrew his request to participate. In the process exhibiting political maturity beyond his two months of council experience.

Mark Cosens

On the other hand, Ald. Mark Cosens scoffed at the budget, calling the amount diminutive, and asserted he will be in Toronto.

It doesn’t matter there is a fixed budget to deal with. It means nought council is attempting to set an example of fiscal responsibility for ratepayers who are picking up the tab in any event.

No, this is all about entitlement — and a complete disregard for the understanding the mayor and aldermen are elected to serve the people.
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Next step in St. Thomas Consolidated Courthouse project

Court services about to move to interim site in preparation for construction

ST.THOMAS – The next step in the revitalization of the historic courthouse on Wellington Street will begin with the official move to the interim site.

The move to the interim site on Silver Street will occur in late December 2010, with court beginning at that location in January 2011. During the construction period, matters for the Superior Court of Justice
will be held at a temporary courthouse located at 1 Silver Street at the corner of Burwell Road. Once the occupants have moved from the current location, fencing will surround the entire Wellington Street
site to ensure the protection and preservation of the heritage courthouse and provide safety for residents and courthouse property. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2011 and be complete
in early 2014.

The project will extensively refurbish the existing courthouse and add a major addition while respecting the grandeur of the original courthouse and the surrounding residential neighbourhood. Construction at
the historic site will include the removal of some buildings in order to make way for the new courthouse which will incorporate the existing courthouse and the former Land Registry Office.

The new facility will consolidate two existing courthouses – the Superior Court of Justice at 8 Wellington Street and the Ontario Court of Justice at 145 Curtis Street – into one modern facility.

“I am extremely pleased to see that the consolidated courthouse project is continuing to progress according to plan and on schedule,” Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Steve Peters said.

“While those residents who require court services in Elgin-St. Thomas have waited for many years for this to happen, we will soon have a refurbished, modern facility that will serve our community for decades to come.”

Complete 2010 municipal election results from across Elgin

Heather Jackson-Chapman, 3,666
Cliff Barwick, incumbent, 3,158
Al Riddell, 2,910

(seven to be elected)
Lori Baldwin-Sands, incumbent, 5,366
Jeff Kohler, 4,691
Mark Cosens, 4,592
Gord Campbell, 4,415
Dave Warden, 4,037
Sam Yusuf, 3,760
Tom Johnston, 3,681

Linda Stevenson, 3,294
Peter Ostojic, 2,948
Bill Sandison, 2,699
Ryan Dolby, 2,607
Rose Gibson, 2,243
Joe Docherty, 2,114
John Allen, 1,966
Joan Rymal, 1,945
Joseph Fric, 1,708
Wayne Northcott, 810
Shawn Claridge, 631
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Naming names, pointing fingers, seven years later


Almost seven years to the day, (Sept. 22, 2003 to be exact) municipal council unanimously approved a motion calling for an independent review of council and its working relationships at city hall.

The damning overview, known as the McCarthy Tetrault report, was delivered just prior to the municipal election. It held back little, naming names and pointing fingers.

The report concluded all those interviewed agreed “this past term of council has been extremely troubled.”

Flipping through the pages, you can’t help but dwell on those players still in the running, or hoping to make a comeback, and the brush they were painted with.
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