We referred to them as the city’s forgotten apartments. A pair of decrepit hovels visible from the mayor’s office in city hall.
The first thing you noticed was the gaping holes where the ceilings had fallen away.
Patches of paint which had not yet floated to the floor cling tentatively to the walls.
In other areas, vast expanses of paint blistered like badly burned skin.
Missing tiles in one of the showers had been replaced with duct tape and garbage bags.
The remnants of a skylight were stuffed with a blanket and when it rained, water dripped to the floor and down the front stairs.
When this corner exposed those units in January of 2016 they were home to four tenants, seemingly off the radar of several departments at city hall.
Links to the trio of items written about those apartments and what might have been in the way of affordable housing back in 2016 can be found at the end of this item.
We reference these residences because how many other out-of-sight, out-of-mind units can be found up and down the Talbot Street core?
One week ago today, while truck horns blared and tempers flared, Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Karen Vecchio rose in the House of Commons and gave a speech on the Motion for Confirmation of the Declaration of Emergency.
It was very late Saturday night, and yet she delivered one of the more impassioned, albeit reasoned, presentations of all those MPs who stood to relay their message.
So much so that it drew praise from two members from other parties. More on that later.
Whatever your political stripe, Vecchio’s words are well worth pondering on several accounts, not the least of which is her obvious compassion for the constituents she represents.
She began, “I am here because of my family and the families and people across Canada. And I will speak about the reasonable people that I also represent.”
She then focussed on the divisiveness and intolerance that have muscled their way into so many conversations today, whether in person or on social media.
Members of council will receive a report for Monday’s (Feb. 7) meeting that unpacks the experiences of discrimination in St. Thomas and Elgin county.
It contains the results of a survey undertaken by the St.Thomas-Elgin Local Immigration Partnership (STELIP) and we spotlighted last week a pair of online presentations to be held this coming Tuesday highlighting the results of that survey.
Delving into the report should prove uncomfortable at times for our elected representatives on two broad fronts.
First, and foremost, the report points out “Discrimination is happening in locations that are managed by the City of St. Thomas and this reality needs to be addressed.”
Secondly, the report states the obvious, “With no immigrants, visible minorities, nor Indigenous People represented on the City of St. Thomas Council, this report can help all of us better understand how these groups are experiencing life in our community.”
Never has the Canadian flag looked so resplendent as it did on this brilliant late-autumn afternoon. Dozens upon dozens of them flapping vigorously in the stiff breeze, reaching out to welcome home for the final time John Gallagher, killed Nov. 4 while volunteering with Kurdish forces to fight against ISIS in Syria.
Several hundred people stood along the Col. Talbot Road
St. Thomas firefighters
overpass Friday — some for hours — patiently waiting to pay tribute to the former Wheatley resident.
Dozens and dozens of young people, several St. Thomas air cadets and numerous vets, individuals in wheel chairs and seniors gingerly hiking up the embankment to pay their respects, accompanied by a large contingent of city fire, police and EMS personnel.
All of them standing resolutely together to thank this young man — indeed all Canadians who have served and fallen — and in the process remind us we can put aside our differences and be proud of who we are.
By Ben Eisen
Frontier Centre for Public Policy
Working for the Canadian government has been a sweet deal for a long time. In addition to job security, outstanding benefits and generous pensions, federal employees are paid, on average, much higher wages than workers in other sectors of the economy.
Although most people know that government workers are highly paid, it is less well known that the gap between government employees and everyone else has grown steadily over the past 20 years. The growth of government salaries relative to the rest of the economy is a costly trend which, if it is not stopped, represents a serious threat to Canada’s long-term fiscal health. Continue reading →
Posted by Ian:
Thanks to Serge Lavoie for the heads up on this positive look at this region’s manufacturing base. With plants and factories shuttered the length of South Edgeware and the Ford plant teetering, let’s hope that indeed the industrial engine is just idling.
So, here is the key question posed by the Toronto Star:
Without a revitalized manufacturing base, Ontario has little chance of a healthy economic recovery that delivers the good jobs and high productivity we need for sustainable prosperity.
So a key question as we face a federal election some time in the next 12 months is which party, Conservative or Liberal, can deliver the most effective manufacturing strategy for the province. Full comment
BELMONT – The next federal election ballot will not feature the name Suzanne van Bommel on it.
The past federal Liberal candidate, van Bommel has made it known that she will not be seeking the nomination for the riding of Elgin-Middlesex-London for an election that could be held as soon as this fall. The long-time Liberal insider in both provincial and federal politics has accepted an extended contract with her current employer, GreenField Ethanol, that will keep her from committing as much time and energy as required to seek public office. Continue reading →