In a deputation last Monday (Sept. 12) to city council she stressed was devoid of “ill will, malintent or hidden agenda,” Hilary Vaughan hit one out of the park with her no-nonsense presentation on the complex issues plaguing downtown.
In a six-and-a-half-minute span, the St. Thomas lawyer delivered a tell-it-like-it-is synopsis, warning the core area is at a critical threshold.
Her closing remarks left members momentarily flummoxed. Vaughan made it clear she was not open to questions, instead it is time to “find a real solution, in real-time, for real people.”
That can be done by striking a working group to tackle the increasingly dire situation.
Because the picture she painted of the downtown core’s immediate prospects is bleak.
He’s the owner of DeNeire’s Gallery of Fine Art in downtown St. Thomas and now Shawn DeNeire is plunging into the fine art of municipal politics.
As of yesterday (Aug. 12), NeNeire was one of 10 individuals seeking to fill eight councillor seats at city hall.
DeNeire was born and raised in St. Thomas and was a Central Elgin Collegiate grad although he also spent time at Arthur Voaden Secondary School and Parkside Collegiate Institute.
Ask why he is eager to sit around the horseshoe in the council chamber and DeNeire will relay the following observation.
“I’ve talked to several businesses on Talbot Street and they haven’t had one council person come down in the last four years and say, ‘Hey, how’s it going? I’m so and so and have you got any concerns?’
“Not one. And that bothers me. Who are we being paid by? The taxpayers.
“Who should be in our best interest? The taxpayers.”
I am sure there are members of council who will challenge the above and they have been seen patronizing downtown establishments.
“I think it’s very important that we keep in mind that the solution to homelessness is not an emergency shelter. “The solution to homelessness is housing and housing with supports.” That was the salient takeaway from the lengthy discussion at the July 11 council meeting revolving around The Inn, the city’s emergency shelter. The observation, which pivoted the dialogue back on track to long-term solutions instead of short-term fixes, was put forward by Danielle Neilson, the city’s homelessness and housing supervisor. She followed that with, “And, in our community, we have plans, not only in place or being considered, but actions that are working. “And, we have lots to be proud of in St. Thomas.” Proof of that was evident in a media release issued July 8 by Built For Zero, a program of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.
Last week’s letter from Jennifer Swales read here charging rule changes adopted by St. Thomas Minor Hockey Association smack of discrimination prompted a flurry of emotional letters to the editor, phone calls and emails.
In summary, under the new rules, if a child has received a subsidy for house league hockey, they cannot try out or play on a travel team.
“Individuals who made this rule based on ‘financial concerns’ for the parents smack of righteousness and assumptions and we all know what that does,” Swales charged.
In response to her email of Aug. 16, STMHA president Chris Smith offered the following rebuttal.
“Our Board of Directors are not ignorant to the economic landscape of our city, nor are we trying to ostracize any families, however you must understand our economic pressures,” stressed Smith. Continue reading →
Jennifer Swales is hot enough under the collar to melt the ice at the Timken Centre.
In an email to this corner, Swales expressed concerns about rule changes adopted this season by St. Thomas Minor Hockey Association.
Apparently under the new rules, if a child has received a subsidy for hockey they cannot tryout or play on a travel team, advises Swales.
“This rule at the very least smacks of discrimination,” she continues.
“How these families raise the money should have zero bearing on this league. These children work delivering papers, cutting grass, saving birthday money. These families have to qualify for subsidy.” Continue reading →
If he believes in reincarnation, then surely Ald. Bill Aarts will come back to life as a dragster . . . his flame-out Monday at city council is the envy of nitro-burning funny cars everywhere.
Did he and Ald. Lori Baldwin-Sands actually believe they could convince at least two other members of St. Thomas council to commit political hari-kari in front of a large contingent of minor hockey supporters and a live television audience? Continue reading →