Crossing that bridge to affordable housing in St. Thomas


city_scope_logo-cmykIt’s one of those unperceived neighbourhoods in St. Thomas . . . life beyond the hump of the Barwick Street bridge.
The residents, who enjoy a tranquil setting west of the railway track, may soon be joined by a couple hundred new neighbours if the city approves a proposed subdivision in the Hill and Barwick streets enclave.
The Ostojic Group of St. Thomas is proposing a 75-lot subdivision west of Hill Street with Nick and Joe Ostojic making their pitch to council this Monday (June 17).
It’s not the first time the Ostojics have sought to develop the open field nestled between the St. Thomas bypass and Kettle Creek.
The stumbling block in the past has been the restricted access across the wooden bridge that spans the CN line to London.

Continue reading

Women’s Breakfast for Everyone takeaway: ‘The shared capacity for change in this room is large’


city_scope_logo-cmykHis guest speaker engagement March 7 in St. Thomas was far from a routine outing.
In fact, his appearance Thursday morning at the St. Thomas Seniors Centre, proved a humbling experience for Globe and Mail columnist and award-winning author Andre Picard.
For the first time in the 14-year history of the Women’s Breakfast for Everyone, the 200 or so in attendance – including many high school students – would digest the thoughts and opinions of a man at the Violence Against Women, Services Elgin County fundraiser.
His appearance was equally compelling in the fact, as the first male speaker, he addressed the issue of sexual and domestic violence inflicted upon women by men.
And, as so often is the case, if anything goes wrong, it is the woman who shoulders the burden of blame. Continue reading

Violence against women: See it, name it, check it


The following is the presentation from guest speaker Barb MacQuarrie  at the Women’s Breakfast for Everyone, hosted by Violence Against Women Services Elgin County, held March 2, 2017 at the St. Thomas Seniors Centre.

  • Barb MacQuarrie is the Community Director for the Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women & Children in the Faculty of Education at the Western University. She develops and promotes evidence based education and prevention initiatives involving both community-based and university-based partners.
  • Barb has presented to a wide variety of audiences locally, nationally and internationally about gendered violence and strategies to address it.
  • Barb manages several provincial and national public education campaign and training programs. She holds a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant to study the impact of violence on workers and the workplace. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support & Integration.
  • Barb is a recipient of the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest official honour, recognizing individual excellence and achievement
Violence against women is both a cause and consequence of inequality. It is really important to remember it’s not just capricious individual behaviour. This problem is underwritten by that big phenomena of gender inequality and we always have to come back to that. And we have to make sure when we’re really trying to address it, that we don’t lose sight of this. So any effort we’re involved in to promote equality is going to help with this problem. 
We know it’s a violation of human rights. We know it’s a detriment to help and it’s maybe something we don’t think enough about. Violence against women costs us a lot. It costs all of us. On a societal basis and on an individual basis. 

Continue reading

The stories behind the homelessness stories


city_scope_logo-cmyk
Following a longer than he would have liked winter hiatus, homeless advocate Jason McComb is ready to pick them up and lay them down as he resumes his cross-Canada trek in aid of the homeless.
Long before the sun breaks through on June 1, Jason will be on the road to Tillsonburg and on to Brantford, Hamilton, Oshawa and then north to Orillia for a musical interlude with Matchbox 20 front man Rob Thomas, who is performing a solo gig at Casino Rama on June 11.
Thomas has been a positive influence in Jason’s life and the promise of a ticket waiting at the door was enough to warrant tweaking his route to accommodate this side trip.
“Through his band and through his music he has gotten me through so much,” Jason advises. “He’s had a tough life.” Continue reading