Adopt a code now or face wrath of voters


By the time the closing prayer is uttered Monday, council may well have adopted a code of conduct, not only for themselves, but for appointed boards and committees.
A sad commentary on how questionable the behaviour of some elected representatives has become over the past few terms of council.
“It’s a shame in this day and age this is a necessity,” bemoaned Mayor Heather Jackson on Friday.
However, the continual leaking of information discussed in closed session and the verbal sparring between aldermen Cliff Barwick and Lori Baldwin-Sands are but two factors that lift the proposed code of conduct into the urgently required category.
The mayor’s frustration was evident last December.
“Even this week there’s been another piece of information given to somebody . . . and they’re not even leaking the right information.”
Continue reading

The fish are approaching from all directions

There’s a lot riding on Thursday’s announcement of a $7 billion deal between the province and South Korean conglomerate Samsung.

While it is an affirmation of Dalton McGuinty’s Green Energy Act, it is much, much more for St. Thomas which is poised, hopefully, to benefit from the economic spinoffs.

With acres of vacant industrial space along South Edgeware Road and a vast pool of skilled labour, it is easy to see why Mayor Cliff Barwick is confident we can direct some of that massive investment in wind farm and solar energy technology into the city.

“We have space, we have skilled workers, we are a manufacturing city with an awful lot of skills,” Barwick noted after the announcement.

“It is like fishing,” he continued. “I cannot say we have one snagged, but it looks good.”
Continue reading

Good news for recession-battered St. Thomas

Formet Industries, St. Thomas

Magna International (MGa.TO) said on Monday that it has won a contract to make the third generation of frames for General Motors Co’s [GM.UL] full-size light-duty pickups and sport utility vehicles.

Magna said it would not disclose the amount of the contract. It said the new frames would replace GM’s GMT 900, which is the frame for the big Chevy Suburbans, Tahoes, and Silvarados.

The frames will be built at plants owned by Magna’s Cosma unit in St. Thomas, Ontario, and Saltillo, Mexico, which currently make the GMT 900.

Lengthy death watch for Ford’s St. Thomas Assembly Plant

The plant has been on the bubble for more than three years, with little new investment and little confidence on the part of some analysts that Ford will ever build any new cars there beyond its aging rear-wheel-drive police cruisers and chauffeured sedans. The automaker says there is no product identified for the facility beyond 2011.

If Ford closes the plant, it will be a rare down note for a company carefully crafting a comeback. But among the labour leaders with the Canadian Auto Workers union, hope has a funny way of clinging to life.
Full story

It’s back to work for 600 Magna employees in St. Thomas

Formet Industries, St. Thomas

Formet Industries, St. Thomas

From the Times-Journal
Six hundred workers at Formet and Presstran were back on the job Monday, returning after a three-month temporary layoff.
Magna International, which owns both St. Thomas facilities, recalled 500 employees at Formet and 100 at Presstran.
While a spokesperson was not immediately available, last month the company said the start up would coincide with the return of production at GM, big customers for both Formet and Presstran.
Continue reading

725 to be idled at Formet St. Thomas

Magna International Inc. said Monday it will lay off 725 workers at its Formet Industries plant in St. Thomas, Ont.

Canada’s largest auto supplier blamed the layoffs, which it said are temporary, on a customer temporarily shutting down a full sized truck plant.
Full story

And see also Further details