A female role model — she’s right in our own backyard


A week ago in this corner, we promoted several local individuals for consideration when re-naming Edward Street Public School.

Including Edra Sanders Ferguson, who was the first woman to practise law in St. Thomas, the first woman in the city’s history elected alderman and the first woman to run for mayor.

Now, add to those credentials the Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, which was awarded to Sanders Ferguson on Thursday.

Responding to this honour, she writes, “I was very surprised to receive this prestigious honour as I did not know I had been nominated. I have now learned that it was a young woman who nominated me. I would guess that most nominations are made by the rich and powerful. I am so pleased that a young woman without power or influence would take such an initiative — and be successful.”
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Rain on his parade? Steve dumps water on the speculation


Our MP Joe Preston waxed poetic about it in Friday’s T-J. Popular QMI Agency columnist Christina Blizzard speculated in the same paper that perhaps the 39th Ontario parliament was abruptly prorogued Wednesday, a day ahead of schedule, in order to derail plans for a fond send-off on Thursday.

The centre of all this ink-drenched attention, MPP Steve Peters — who supposedly had been critical of his own government just days previous — couldn’t help chuckling when he spoke to City Scope from his home on Friday.

“I think people are reading far too much into that,” he opined. “The (provincial) clerk actually said to me Monday morning, “We don’t have a lot to do.’ There really wasn’t a lot on the agenda.”
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Construction officially begins on Regional Mental Health Care, St. Thomas new forensic facility

Proposed St. Thomas facility

ST. THOMAS, ON, April 1 /CNW/ – Steve Peters, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London joined Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Care London, St. Joseph’s staff, volunteers and patients, community members and partners for St. Joseph’s forensic mental health care building’s official groundbreaking in St. Thomas.

The St. Thomas facility will be a new 233,640 square foot hospital for forensic mental health-care built on the existing lands in St. Thomas and will replace the current facility. It will provide specialized inpatient and outpatient services, including assessment, treatment, outreach and support services to individuals with a mental illness who have come into significant contact with the criminal justice system.
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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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St. Thomas consolidated courthouse project moves ahead

For Immediate Release February 8, 2011

Preserving the past; building for the future

ST. THOMAS – Steps to preserve the unique heritage aspects of the historic Elgin County Courthouse on Wellington Street are underway, as the process to build the new St. Thomas Consolidated Courthouse continues.

Salvage operations will begin this week on some of the buildings on the courthouse property including the former Governor’s Residence.
Workers on the site will begin salvaging the bricks and slate roof from the former Governor’s Residence. Most of the salvaged materials will be presented to the City of St. Thomas for use in the restoration and repair of municipal buildings. The remainder of the materials will be available for sale to the community, the proceeds of which will go to the St. Thomas Municipal Heritage Committee for preservation work in the area.
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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.”

For the sake of employees, health unit board of directors should deal in facts

Forget the showmanship by the trio of Elgin St. Thomas Public Health board members that dominated Monday’s council meeting.

Instead, let’s cut to the chase and deal with facts.

The health unit was the subject of a visit by the Ministry of Labour on Oct. 18, 2010 to investigate a complaint regarding harassment at 99 Edward St.

The Industrial Health and Safety Program officer in charge of dealing with the situation is Beth Nethercott, based out of London.
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