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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  News 2017 Headlines in Review

News

by Doug Harvey
2017 Headlines in Review

The Christmas Holiday break is good time to review the past years headlines that had an impact on the Port Stanley community. The headlines selected show a diversity of events that shape and define our way of life in this community on the shores of Lake Erie. Looking back at 2017, to see the big picture, we start at the beginning, as 2017 proved to be a very busy year in the Port Stanley area.

A Line in the Sand - 2017-01-08

With Thames Valley District School Board doing a Pupil Accommodation Review, the planned solutions offered in the "PAR" bring out the objections of many in the affected areas. Signage is going up to bring public awareness of the changes proposed under the current Pupil Accommodation Review that has the following proposed recommendations to resolve the accommodation issues:

  • The closure of 5 Elementary schools: New Sarum, South Dorchester, Sparta, Springfield and Westminster Central Public Schools.
  • School improvements (addition/or renovations/or program enhancements) for Davenport, McGregor, Northdale Central, Port Stanley and Summers' Corners Public Schools.
  • The construction of 2 new elementary schools, located in Belmont and Southeast St. Thomas.

One issue that becomes a major problem in Southern Central Elgin is that a solution proposed for the TVDSB Southern Region would shift the attendance area from Sparta Public School, a school that will be closing, to the Port Stanley Public School, a school that will get $1,506,000 in renovations to classrooms and educational material. With costs per student being a major concern, the results of this solution would lower the costs at the Port Stanley Public School from $3,614.16 currently per student, to a projected cost of $1,159.73 per student. For comparisons, the Sparta Public School currently has a cost per student of $1,483.57, with the TVDSB average cost per student of $1,416.06.

The reasons for these changes, are area growth projections that indicate that Port Stanley has the potential for growth due to all the new housing developments, while Sparta shows no signs of growth in that area. Last time there was a Pupil Accommodation Review, Port Stanley Public School faced many challenges to keep open, and only through a move of some 91 students from Pierre Elliott Trudeau French Immersion school to Port Stanley Public School kept it open. If this solution to shift the Sparta Public School attendance area to Port Stanley goes ahead, it would give Port Stanley that advantage of having enough student attendance to keep it's school open for years. Re-purposing of the Sparta Public School could follow once the closure of the regular track program is finalized, to create a second elementary French Immersion school in Elgin County. Support from Central Elgin Council will be split, as some wards gain from the proposed changes, while other wards lose from the closings.

Construction starting for Rescue Boat Boathouse in Hofhuis Park - 2017-01-18

DHP Homes of St. Thomas has started the hardest part of the construction process of building the Rescue Boat Boathouse in Hofhuis Park. Today DHP Homes tradesmen were busy moving building supplies by hand, as access with larger vehicles to the Boathouse along the walkway is too hazardous because of unfrozen ground, and access by the bridge is not possible because that route is incomplete, and not capable of handing the weight of a large building material delivery truck.

Construction of the Boathouse was decided at a Council Meeting on Monday, November 14th, 2016, and the report and Tender Award details follow.

Report PW 80-16
To assist in the municipality's marine rescue and beach patrol operations, the municipality owns a 24 foot Zodiac RIB rescue boat. This is a considerable investment for the municipality. Currently, the vessel is moored dockside in the harbour and is utilized by both the Fire Department as well as the Beach Patrol. As a result of the foregoing, the boat is left to the elements as well it is not secure and potentially susceptible to vandalism or theft.

As part of the dredging project, the municipality constructed finger docks as well as the foundation to support a boat house structure to house this vessel. This work is now completed. The final phase of the project is to construct the building that will house the rescue boat. Staff had the boat house designed by Riggs Engineering. These plans were circulated to four local builders for pricing. The following prices were received:

  • DHP Homes, St. Thomas - $94,400 exclusive of HST
  • MD Construction, St. Thomas - $97,875.00 exclusive of HST

The original estimate to construct the boat house was $80,000. However, since that estimate the decision was made to utilize a Cement Board Siding rather than Vinyl and recycled rubber shingles rather than Asphalt. While both of these products are a more expensive to install initially, they both offer longer service life and reduced long term costs for the building. Staff would respectfully suggest that this is a prudent expenditure given the harsh elements that this structure will face on the waterfront.

The actual construction of the boathouse will not happen until winter and will be completed by April 1, 2017. As a result, if Council approves the project it will form part of the 2017 budget.

PW 80-16 Tender Award, Rescue Boat - Boathouse

A Motion moved by Dan McNeil and Seconded by Stephen Carr that the Council of the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin approve the construction of a new boat house to house the Central Elgin Rescue Boat at Hofhuis Park. And that DHP Homes be contracted to complete the work for a total cost of $94,400 exclusive of HST. And further that the cost be included in the 2017 Budget as per Report PW 80-16.

Harold Winkworth asked "Is there a concern in regards to vandalism, when you start putting stuff in that area." Lloyd Perrin responded saying, "The Boathouse will be locked, and will have secured access on all doors to it. If someone wants to swim underneath, and get in to the Boathouse, well there's not going to be anything there that isn't locked up." He also added later that an inside and outside security camera system may be installed.

Dennis Crevits commented, "I am surprised at this one, the amount that this tender is for, I noticed that it is just under the $100,000 mark, for their tendering process, but this was just circulated to Builders, and not actually sent out for a Public Tender. I want to know why it was not sent out for a Public Tender?" Lloyd Perrin responded saying, "We approached four builders that we believe do good quality workmanship after talking with the Building Department, and then asked them for bids. We did not go out to Public Tender, if Council want's us to go back out for Public Tender, after the New Year, we can do that, I'm not so sure we would probably get much difference in price, but we are open to that." Dennis Crevits asked for a recorded vote, and the Motion was Passed, with only Councillor Ward 2, Dennis Crevits opposed.

Hawk Cliff Woods work recognized with Lieutenant Governor's Award - 2017-02-24

The Thames Talbot Land Trust (TTLT) was thrilled to recently accept the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation in recognition of its work at Hawk Cliff Woods in Elgin County.

The annual Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Awards recognize exceptional contributions to cultural and natural heritage conservation, environmental sustainability and biodiversity.

Through a dedicated fundraising campaign in 2016, TTLT raised $800,000 to purchase Hawk Cliff Woods, 230 acres of culturally significant property. Through volunteer efforts, the TTLT has launched several initiatives to preserve and enhance the Carolinian forest which is along an international migratory route for birds and monarch butterflies. Due to these efforts, the site has been opened for public enjoyment through marked trails and interpretive signage.

"Hawk Cliff Woods was a natural fit with TTLT's mission and mandate, given the property's long history as one of the most significant natural areas along Lake Erie," said Suzanne McDonald Aziz, Executive Director of TTLT. "We are grateful for this recognition and pleased to have been nominated by the Municipality of Central Elgin."

TTLT is named after the Thames River and the historic Talbot Trail and was established as a charity in 2000 to protect the natural and cultural heritage of London, Middlesex, Elgin, Perth and Oxford Counties in south-western Ontario.

The Thames Talbot Land Trust currently owns 14 properties and holds one conservation easement, protecting over 1300 acres.

Each property is under the active care of TTLT volunteers, who visit regularly to look out for invasive species, maintain signage and fences, remove litter, maintain any trails, and remove hazards.

Land Trusts are community-based charitable organizations that actively work to conserve land with natural, recreational, scenic, historical, or agricultural value for the benefit of future generations.

To learn more about TTLT, please visit http://www.thamestalbotlandtrust.ca/.

Update - Vehicle In Port Stanley Harbour - 2017-03-08

Driver found vehicle recovered

Central Elgin, ON - The Underwater Search and Recovery Unit was successful in locating a 47 year old female within the submerged vehicle deceased.

The vehicle, a silver coloured PT Cruiser was recovered successfully by Ross's towing. Elgin County Victim Services attended the scene to assist family members of the deceased.

At this time in the investigation no foul play is suspected.

Original Media release March 7, 2017

On the 7th of March 2017 around 7:10 p.m. the Elgin County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a call for a vehicle that had gone off the road and entered the Port Stanley Harbour.

At this time it is unknown if any occupants are within the vehicle. The OPP's Underwater Search and Recovery Team will be attending to further the investigation.

The public can expect an increase in police presence near were the vehicle entered the water.

Sewer Project Underway - 2017-04-12

The sewer work at Bridge Street and Carlow Road seems to be finally underway, with a lot of Carlow Road by the Port Stanley Legion already dug up. Construction signs indicating two previous starting dates gave people that use this busy area and intersection more than enough notice that something was going to happen. The work being done in the area is part of the $17,681,221.00 construction project of the new Port Stanley Wastewater Treatment Plant, New Pumping Station 52 and refurbishment of Pumping Station 51.

As work progresses, the intersection of Bridge Street and Carlow Road will be closed and a detour will be available. The detour entrance will be on the southwest side of the King George Lift Bridge and will continue into the parking area, then past the DOC building, and finally exit onto Carlow Road close to Erie Street. The sewer work being done at Bridge and Carlow will continue for 4 weeks with the intersection closed.

Carlow Road - Bridge Street Detour - 2017-04-18

The Carlow Road - Bridge Street Detour is now operational, with south-bound Carlow traffic entering the Port Stanley Terminal Rail south parking area, crossing Bridge Street and into the detour entrance on the southwest side of the King George Lift Bridge. For Bridge Street west-bound traffic the detour entrance is on the southwest side of the King George Lift Bridge and will continue into the parking area, then past the DOC building, and finally exit onto Carlow Road close to Erie Street.

The sewer work being done at Bridge and Carlow will continue for 4 weeks with the intersection closed, and traffic having to use the detour to access the west side of Port Stanley including the beach. Signs and barriers are up at the LCBO parking lot to restrict traffic from using this parking lot as a bypass. The work being done beside the detour is part of the $17,681,221.00 construction project of the new Port Stanley Wastewater Treatment Plant, New Pumping Station 52 and refurbishment of Pumping Station 51.

$3,000 in Fines for Dredging Kettle Creek Shore Land - 2017-04-26

A Port Stanley man has been fined a total of $3,000 for offences under the Public Lands Act.

Patrick Geraghty pleaded guilty and was fined $1,500 for unlawfully dredging shore lands without a permit and $1,500 for violating stop work orders on three separate occasions.

Court heard that between September 16 and October 12, 2016, Geraghty used an excavator to dredge the bed of Kettle Creek in front of his property. A member of the public advised the ministry of the dredging which led a conservation officer from the Southern Marine Enforcement Unit to conduct an inspection. An investigation determined that Geraghty conducted the work without the required work permit. The officer issued a stop work order which Geraghty violated on three separate occasions, by continuing to dredge in front of his property.

Justice of the Peace Kristine Diaz heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, St. Thomas, on April 13, 2017.

The ministry reminds the public that work permits are required for any work on shore lands.

To report a natural resources violation, call the MNRF TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Generosity at it's Finest, McCaig Family Supports STEGH's Great Expansion - 2017-04-27

St. Thomas, ON – "It's OUR Hospital" instills a sense of community, of pride, and the importance of supporting patient care excellence at the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital. On Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 STEGH Foundation representatives were joined by local donors Bob and Janet McCaig to celebrate their generous gift of $1,000,000 towards STEGH's Great Expansion.

"A final push by everyone in our community – with the dollars that you can afford, will put our fundraising efforts well over the top – I would encourage everyone to give themselves that 'feel good feeling' by participating in this final half million dollar goal," explains Bob McCaig, community member and donor.

Construction of the new three storey tower is well underway. Located on the northwest corner of our current location, the new addition will house an Emergency Department, Surgical Suites, a permanent home for our Mental Health Unit, as well as a Medical Device Reprocessing Department. In addition to this project, the STEGH Foundation is also raising money for a new CT Scanner which is onsite and operational.

The Great Expansion will enable STEGH to keep pace with a dynamic and changing healthcare system, and provide our community with a local state-of-the-art healthcare facility. As a Provincial leader in ER wait times, the Great Expansion will only improve an increasingly high-performing Hospital.

"What an incredible commitment to patient care excellence at OUR Hospital. Bob and Janet are the living definition of generous," explains Paul Jenkins, Executive Director. "This gift is generosity at its finest. Bob and Janet have certainly understood the importance of this project for themselves, but also for the entire community. We are so grateful for their support."

On November 17th, 2015 the Hospital, the Foundation, donors, good friends, and neighbours celebrated ground-breaking for the Great Expansion. Construction is well underway, and completion of the new addition is expected in November 2017. The Foundation is leading the $16 million capital campaign to help fund the 'Great Expansion', and with the kind assistance of our generous donors like the McCaig's, the Foundation has raised more than $15 million to date.

The community is invited to join with our good corporate citizens in support of the incredible transformations taking place at STEGH. There are many ways for individuals, businesses and civic organizations to get involved and the best place to start is by visiting ItsOURHospital.ca.

Since 1985, the STEGH Foundation has played an integral role in supporting patient care excellence at the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital by independently raising funds to acquire patient care equipment, support educational endeavours, and upgrade the Hospital's physical facilities. Our Mission is to partner with the community to support our award-winning Hospital in the delivery of an excellent patient care experience. ItsOURHospital.ca

The St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital is a 155-bed facility providing comprehensive 24-hour coverage in Internal Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics, Paediatrics, Anaesthesia, Emergency, and Family Medicine. More than 800 people work at STEGH, including over 200 credentialed Professional Staff who provide in-Hospital care ensuring that we provide the highest quality of care to each and every patient that walks through our doors. As a fully accredited Hospital, we are proud to serve the City of St. Thomas and all eight municipalities within the County of Elgin. STEGH.on.ca

Port Stanley Sanitary Sewer Update - 2017-05-03

May 2, 2017 - The Municipality of Central Elgin is constructing new sanitary sewers on the south-east corner of Bridge Street and Carlow Road in Port Stanley.

To facilitate the installation of new sewers, the groundwater table needed to be lowered in the area of excavation by “dewatering” the site with well points.

Well points were installed the week of April 18th. On April 26th, pumping commenced. Within 45 minutes, a sheen and odour suggested the presence of light hydrocarbons in the ground water. Hydrocarbons are hydrogen and carbon compounds, and are found in substances such as petroleum and natural gas.

The Municipality took due diligence to cease discharge. Pumping ceased immediately and the Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change (MOECC) was consulted.

Although the concentration of contaminants is less than the MOECC’s guideline for material that can be discharged into the environment, the MOECC advised the Municipality to bring in a portable waste water treatment plant to treat the contaminated ground water.

It will take approximately 4 weeks to receive the necessary approvals and bring the plant to site.

In the interim, Bridge Street will be backfilled and opened to traffic. Carlow road south of Bridge remains closed. Truck access to McAsphalt and the boat launch will utilize the detour route.

Once the portable plant is onsite, construction will continue.

The Municipality is considering 24 hour work in order to reduce impact the impact on traffic and residents.

Heavy rains prompt KCCA to upgrade to a flood watch - 2017-05-05

St. Thomas – Kettle Creek Conservation Authority (KCCA) is upgrading to a flood watch as the already saturated watershed prepares to receive a forecast of 50 - 90 mm of additional rainfall today through to Saturday.

"The watershed has already received between 37 and 47 mm of precipitation over the last twenty-four hours," says Jennifer Dow, water conservation supervisor. "We had saturated ground conditions before this rain event started. Overnight levels in local watercourses rose significantly. Many smaller streams may be approaching bank full levels as of Friday morning."

KCCA issued a watershed conditions statement on Thursday. Upgrading to a flood watch today means that residents can expect some form of flooding, especially in low lying areas. The extent of the flooding will depend on the actual amount of rain received on Friday.

Nuisance flooding may already be occurring in some flood-prone areas. Residents should be mindful of conditions and take appropriate action. The saturated ground has little ability to absorb further rainfall. The rain may be heavy at times but is expected to taper off to showers by Saturday evening.

This flood watch is to remain in effect until Sunday, May 7 and will be updated as conditions warrant. KCCA staff are continuing to monitor watershed conditions.

Please remember that fast flowing water is dangerous and the banks are slippery. Parents along Kettle Creek are advised to carefully monitor their local conditions. Parents in particular are encouraged to keep their children away from floodplain areas.

For further updates log on to www.kettlecreekconservation.on.ca or connect with Kettle Creek Conservation Authority socially on Twitter or Facebook at KettleCreekCA.

Watershed Conditions Statement - Water Safety -- Issued during periods of minor flooding to report on general watershed conditions to flood coordinators, and to remind the general public of general river safety issues

Watershed Conditions Statement - Flood Outlook -- Issued to provide early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions that could result in high runoff

Flood Watch -- issued when the potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities

Flood Warning -- issued when flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses and municipalities

Last chance at a beachfront Dream - 2017-06-14

Dream Lottery's final deadline is next week

London, Ont. - Summer has just started, but the chance at a beachfront dream is fading fast. A little more than one week remains to order the hottest ticket in town while supporting the regional hospitals in London. In July, the ultimate grand prize winner of Dream Lottery will snag the choice between a Port Stanley dream condo at the beach (that comes with $100,000 cash and a Jaguar F-type convertible), a North London dream home (with cash for a year of first-class living and a Land Rover Evoque convertible) - or a cool million in cash to make their own dreams a reality.

This is the last week to visit these spectacular dream homes in person too. The homes will remain closed after the midnight, June 22 final ticket sales deadline.

In addition to the home-or-cash top prize, there are vehicles and trips to be won in the final draw. To top it off, the 50/50 Plus TM is more than $ $820,250 (and still growing), and the Destinations, Dollars & Design Calendar offers the chance at a great prize each day in August. You need a Dream ticket in order to buy into the 50/50 Plus TM and the Destinations, Dollars & Design Calendar.

"Exceptional prizes make winning this lottery something to dream about," says Michelle Campbell, President and CEO, St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation. "Knowing that patients and their families win when each ticket is purchased is the reality that makes the dream even better."

Each purchase of a Dream Lottery ticket helps change the lives of patients from across South-western Ontario who need the specialized services at London Health Sciences Centre, Children's Hospital at LHSC and at St. Joseph's Health Care London. Dream Lottery has raised almost $29 million (net) since 1996 for innovative technology and equipment, ground-breaking research, and continuing medical education and training that enables doctors, nurses and staff to provide exceptional, patient-centred, life-changing care.

All Dream Lottery details including: rules, prize list, maps to the dream homes and their open hours, virtual home tours, sales deadlines, draw dates – and how lottery proceeds benefit patients at all three hospitals - can be found on the lottery's website at www.dreamitwinit.ca.

Dream Lottery is a joint venture of London Health Sciences Foundation, Children's Health Foundation, and St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation. Together, London Health Sciences Centre, Children's Hospital at LHSC and St. Joseph's Health Care London receive more than 1.5 million patient visits from across South-western Ontario and beyond each year. In addition to caring for London-area residents, the hospitals are referral centres providing specialized services in support of the excellent care of the region's community hospitals.

Dream Lottery (LL8727) 50/50 PlusTM (LL8728) Dollars, Destinations & Design (LL8729)

For More Information about Dream Lottery or London Health Sciences Foundation: Alexander Peterson, Manager, Public Relations (519) 685-8527 or Alexander.Peterson@lhsc.on.ca www.lhsf.ca

For More Information about Children's Health Foundation: Rebecca Milec, Communications Associate (519) 432-8062 (ext. 75276) or rmilec@childhealth.ca www.childhealth.ca

For More Information about St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation: Laura Janecka, Marketing and Communications Officer (519) 646-6000 (ext. 65449) or Laura.Janecka@sjhc.london.on.ca www.sjhcfoundation.org

Beach Accessibility Project Now Complete - 2017-06-19

People with mobility issues now have full beach access today because of Central Elgin's implementation of its new Corporate Accessibility Policy.

The new Beach Accessibility Mats have arrived and have been installed, starting from the new concrete walkway heading south to almost the waters edge where the mats form a T, branching out east and west. These new mats are also wide enough for 2-way traffic, so that multiple users may access the mats at the same time.

The new Corporate Accessibility Policy was developed with the assistance of Jennifer Cowan from the County of Elgin, and was necessary for compliance of the new Accessibility Standards Regulations.

The Beach Accessibility Project began at the March 27th, 2017 at a Council meeting when the tender for the Port Stanley Main Beach Boardwalk Replacement with a total tendered price of $100,219.59 was approved. The existing damaged wooden walkway was removed and a brand new series of concrete walkways were built to provide multiple paths of beach access.

In 2016, the Municipality of Central Elgin decided to apply to the Federal Enabling Accessibility Fund for the purchase of Accessibility Mats for the installation on Main Beach in Port Stanley, and was successful in obtaining funding in the amount of $20,684.04. At the May 23rd, 2017 Council meeting the purchase of Beach Accessibility Mats from Dechamps Mat Systems for $22,750.60 in US Dollars was approved. The Enabling Accessibility Fund Grant will pay for 2/3 of the cost of the mats and the remaining 1/3 ($10,210) will be paid for out of the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve.

Hofhuis Park Dedication - 2017-06-24

Saturday, June 24th, 2017 will be a date that will be forever remembered in the Municipality of Central Elgin as the day that Hofhuis Park was dedicated to the Hofhuis Family, in recognition of their devotion to the community and to the many contributions that defined what Port Stanley and Elgin County is today.

Gathered today for the dedication was David Marr, Mayor of the Municipality of Central Elgin, Members of Council from the Municipality of Central Elgin, Past Council Members from Central Elgin and Elgin County, Karen Vecchio, MP of Elgin, Middlesex, London, and Jeff Yurek, MPP of Elgin, Middlesex, London.

Many of the dedication speakers recounted memories that had become their own lasting personal tribute to Sylvia Hofhuis whose public service career began in 1988 as a Councillor in Port Stanley. She soon became the Deputy Reeve, and, shortly after that, the Reeve of Port Stanley. In 2003, Sylvia was elected Deputy Mayor of Central Elgin, and in 2006 became Mayor, a position she held until her passing in 2010. Sylvia was a member of Elgin County Council for twelve years, and Warden of Elgin County in 2007. During her time in politics, she was the driving force in the Harbour Divestiture talks, and the Blue Flag Program for Port Stanley Beaches. She was also a board member and Chair of countless organizations, including Elgin Community Living, the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Board, and the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre.

David Marr, Mayor of the Municipality of Central Elgin told the story of how Dr. John Hofhuis was first introduced to the Port Stanley Community. It happened because of the efforts of a fellow Doctor encouraging John to set up practice in Port Stanley, and was driving John around in van showing him all sites. The funny part was that the van didn't have a passenger seat, and John was sitting on a crate. At the time, he must have been impressed enough with Port Stanley as a great place to start his practice because the rest is history. Dr. John Hofhuis has provided over 35 years of dedicated service to the people of Port Stanley and Elgin County as a General Practitioner of Medicine and as the County Coroner.

Dr. John Hofhuis spoke about how in 1979, when he first came to Port Stanley with Sylvia, that they both agreed to try it for a year, and you know how that went. He thanked everyone for their kind words and spoke about Sylvia's vision and contribution's to the Harbour Divestiture Program which benefits Port Stanley, Central Elgin, and Elgin County. He was also thankful for the park and how the park will develop in the future allowing Sylvia's dream and legacy to live on.

A Moratorium On Future School Closures - 2017-06-29

Statement from Jeff Yurek, MPP, Elgin-Middlesex-London

June 29, 2017 - The following is a statement from MPP Jeff Yurek on the Liberal government's recent announcement to put a moratorium on future school closures until a review is complete:

"The Minister of Education has admitted that her government's existing accommodation review process is flawed weeks after the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) made the decision to close 3 schools in Elgin County.

"While our community looks forward to the new school in Belmont and accepts the closures of South Dorchester and Westminster, I urge the TVDSB to revisit their decision to close Sparta, Springfield and New Sarum. The closures of these 3 schools should not go forward until the government corrects the funding formula for rural schools and a new accommodation review process is in place.

"It is unfortunate that the Minister of Education ignored the voices of parents and the impact of communities while allowing this flawed process to proceed.

"I will work to ensure that the review announced by the Minister will include the reinstatement of funding for rural schools and that impacts to communities are considered during the accommodation review process.

"This is the right thing to do for our children, our parents and our community."

Pumping Station 52 - Project Update - 2017-07-18

Dewatering operation to start soon

At the June 26th, 2017 Council meeting Lloyd Perrin gave his report on the Pumping Station 52 component of the Waste Water Treatment project that was started on April 10th, 2017. During the dewatering operation, the contractor encountered contaminated ground water causing the underground sewer component of the project to be halted. This was necessary to address the treatment of the water being pumped from the ground and amending the Permit To Take Water (PTTW) which the municipality previously received from Ministry of Environment and Energy. The municipality's consultant, Stantec, has been diligent with working with MOECC to address concerns and compiling the necessary technical work and information required to support a new PTTW.

The municipality's contractor HIRA has struggled to react to finding a subcontractor that is able to provide the necessary treatment equipment to address the situation. As a result, Stantec has assisted and sourced private third party subcontractors that are capable of treating the water from the dewatering operation prior to discharge to the natural environment. Stantec has been able to source the contractor and receive a work plan from one contractor to complete the work and has since shared that with HIRA.

Lloyd Perrin also stated that given the time required to finalize the PTTW approvals for the operation and getting the plant mobilized it is anticipated that the dewatering operation would commence by July 21st, 2017. Depending on how long it takes to lower the groundwater to a level that will facilitate the underground works, the underground sewer should be installed by mid August with restoration in the area to happen immediately after.

Financial considerations to mobilize and operate a portable plant to undertake the treatment can not be priced as a definite lump sum cost for a number of reasons:

  • The time it takes to install the underground piping that the dewatering operation is being undertaken for is somewhat unknown.
  • The pump rates to maintain the appropriate working conditions for the installation of the trunk sewer is unknown.
  • These pump rates will affect the level of treatment effort that is required to provide the necessary water quality before discharging.
  • There are a number of consumables such as clay and carbon that are necessary to perform the treatment.
  • The amount of consumables will be determined by pump rates and the levels of contamination of the ground water.

The estimated cost for the mobilization and utilization of the treatment plant could be as high as $230,000, while significant, is necessary to complete the project. Staff would also confirm that there is sufficient monies contained within the contingency allowance for the project to cover the costs.

Port Stanley Community Policing Celebrates 25th Anniversary - 2017-07-22

On Saturday July 22nd, 2017, the Port Stanley Community Policing Committee hosted an open house at their office, located in the basement of the medical building, to celebrate twenty-five years of service in Port Stanley and the surrounding district.

The Port Stanley Community Policing office was first located in the old Village Hall auditorium (now the Port Stanley Festival Theatre) on February 16th, 1992, and then near the end of April in 1997, moved to its current location in the basement of the medical building on the corner of Bridge Street and Colborne Street. During the twenty-five years that the Port Stanley Community Policing office has been open, many volunteers have come and gone, except for two, Ray Filewood, and his wife Beverly Filewood, Port Stanley Community Policing Charter members.

Making the local community a safer place to live in has been the Port Stanley Community Policing major accomplishment and was achieved through projects like the Snow Bird patrols, distribution of marine safety leaflets, hosting home and safety seminars, farm safety days, school safety days, Seniors safety programmes, installation of speed and information signs, participating in local parades, plus hosting other local Community Policing Committees yearly meetings.

Although a sub committee of Central Elgin Council, funding for events they sponsor such as the parade and Easter Egg hunt for local children which includes fingerprinting for children's safety, comes from donations by local service clubs and caring citizens. An OPP officer and local councillor attend all monthly meetings supplying information and guidance for the group.

Quotes

"It's my pleasure to be here to congratulate you for your twenty-five years of continuous community service. We have great Community Policing Committees all across Elgin County, but, this one here actually is one of the strongest, and there has been a lot of great things that this Committee has done for the Community, especially for the youth. Its all about people in community knowing what's happening on a daily basis, and feeding that information on to the OPP to better target our efforts." - OPP Detachment Commander of Elgin County Brad Fishleigh.

"I would like to thank each and everyone of you for insuring Port Stanley is a safer community. I would also like to thank the OPP for working together with the Port Stanley Community Policing Committee, because that's what its all about, together working for a safer community." - Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek.

"We recognize that the Community Policing Committees offer invaluable information to the officers on the street, because they can't be everywhere all the time. Congratulations!" - Central Elgin Mayor David Marr.

Port Stanley Harbour Public Workshop - 2017-07-25

Port Stanley Harbour Public Workshop on Monday, July 24th, 2017, was held at the Port Stanley Arena on 332 Carlow Road, Port Stanley by Dillon Consulting on behalf of the Municipality of Central Elgin. This was the second public event, one that was considered to be a directions workshop that was intended to provide feedback on the draft plans that have been created so far.

The vision of the Port Stanley Harbour Plan is to create a self-sustaining Port Stanley Harbour that will be a centre for business and tourism in Central Elgin. The key principals of the plan include maintaining public access to the waterfront and views of the lake, promoting healthy active lifestyles, celebrate and honour the unique history and character of Port Stanley, while ensuring any new development is complementary, provide enhanced port services, facilitate the development of new year-round public amenities, and support long term mixed use development that enhances the liveability and sustainability of the community.

For the plan to succeed, visions must be collected from many sources including a steering committee comprised of staff, council, and community members working with Dillon Consulting to develop a secondary plan for the Port Stanley Harbour. The general public also has an several opportunities to participate in this plan and last night demonstrated their willingness to participate with a good turnout of people.

Before the presentation many people were taking in the tour of the panels positioned around the perimeter of workshop, which provided an overview of the process, draft plans for land use, transportation improvements, public realms, and maximum heights of proposed development. During the presentation the crowd seemed to give notice on items that included maximum heights of proposed development in various locations, and traffic improvements showing that this input process is working.

The next steps in this process will be developing a preferred land use plan based on comments received, identify transportation, water and sanitary, storm water, and incentive program recommendations, conduct market and financial impact assessments on the preferred land use, draft the Harbour Plan and Urban Design Guidelines, hold a Public Meeting about the Draft Harbour Plan, Urban Design Guidelines, Incentive Program and Financial Impact, and hold a Statutory Public Meeting on the proposed final Harbour Plan.

Great Waterfront Trail Adventure - 2017-07-26

Celebrating Ontario's 150th By Crossing Great Lakes' Communities By Bike

A Sold-Out Great Waterfront Trail Adventure Showcases Ontario's World-Class Cycling Destination; Connects 150 Cyclists to Communities between Point Pelee and Rouge Park

Cyclists from across Canada and the U.S. are packing for a seven-day cycling holiday that will take them across Canada's Great Lakes Waterfront trail, on the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure (GTWA). From August 6 - 12, 150 cyclists will ride 550 km from Point Pelee National Park on Lake Erie, to the Rouge National Urban Park on Lake Ontario, enjoying a different section of the 2,100 km Trail each day.

Distances between destinations vary from 40 km to 105 km, and the riders will have time to explore National parks, shop, enjoy craft beers, local wines and food while taking in the history of the Great Lakes communities. A full itinerary of the GWTA can be found here.

"Canada has a history of creating paths and connecting communities, and in the 10th Great Waterfront Trail Adventure, we celebrate our heritage through cycling along the extraordinary Great Lakes coast," says Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director, Waterfront Regeneration Trust. "This year, the GWTA is showcasing 24 of the Trail's 114 communities from National Park to National Urban Park, where participants will stay, explore and discover what makes each of these communities so unique."

  • The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is recognized as an Inaugural Trail of Distinction by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport;
  • The Trail also uses signed paths and roads to connect 114 communities and First Nations along three of Canada's Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River;
  • The Trail was created to protect and connect the world's largest group of freshwater lakes, and in the coming year will add another 650 km by expanding into Manitoulin Island, Huron, Bruce and Grey counties with support from the Province;
  • New to the Trail this year is a partnership with the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and Metrolinx, resulting in Trail to GO - a program that connects 11 GO Stations to 300 km of Great Lakes Waterfront Trail between Niagara and Whitby, promoting greater Trail accessibility for explorers of all ages.

About the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure

The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure is an annual, fully supported, recreational cycling holiday hosted by the Waterfront Regeneration Trust (WRT) with its community partners that promotes cycling tourism and healthy, active living in Ontario. In its 10th year, the sold-out event also provides daily luggage transportation, mechanical assistance, and designated shuttles.

With a mission to continually improve the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, the WRT manages a partnership of more than 100 communities, conservation authorities, NGOs and community groups who share a vision for a connected, accessible, revitalized waterfront.

Highlights for the 10th Annual GWTA Include:

  • Exploration of the southernmost tip of Canada, and experiencing Point Pelee's brand new facilities and cycling trails;
  • Beaches, beaches and more beaches: From Leamington to Erieau, Rondeau Park to Port Glasgow, Port Stanley, Port Burwell, Turkey Point, beaches across the GTA and at the mouth of the Rouge River in the Rouge National Urban Park;
  • Craft beer at Bayside Brewing, a visit to Burning Kiln Winery, Toronto's Distillery District;
  • Glamping and zip lines at Long Point Eco Adventures, Paddle boarding in Port Dover, Indigenous Culture at Mohawk Chapel, and industrial heritage in Tannery Park;
  • Travelling along a portion of the 460 km Greenbelt Route-another iconic cycling experience through Ontario's protected countryside.
  • Visiting the new Trillium Park on grounds of the former Ontario Place. Taking in Toronto's nightlife in the Distillery District or the new Waterfront Night Market at the Hearn Generating Station in Toronto.

For more information, please visit http://www.waterfronttrail.org/

This year's Great Waterfront Trail Adventure will celebrate Canada's and Ontario's 150th birthday with a ride from National Park to National Urban Park.

From August 6 – 12, 150 cyclists will ride 530 km from Point Pelee on Lake Erie, to Rouge National Urban Park on Lake Ontario, enjoying a different section of the 2,100 km trail each day over a mix of country roads, rail trail and multi-use trails.

Distances between destinations vary from 40 km to 105 km, and the riders will have time to explore two Canadian flagship National Parks, shop, enjoy beaches, craft beers, local wines and food while taking in the history of the Great Lakes communities.

  • August 6 Point Pelee National Park-spend the day riding the Park's trails, enjoying the beaches and/or take a longer self-guided trip outside the park.
  • August 7 Point Pelee National Park to Rondeau Provincial Park. Total ride: 106 km
  • August 8 Rondeau Provincial Park to Port Stanley. Total ride: 81km
  • August 9 Port Stanley to Port Dover. Total ride: 105km
  • August 10 Port Dover to Hamilton via the "Brock's Route" rail trail. Total ride: 96km
  • August 11 Hamilton to Toronto. Total ride: 86km
  • August 12 Toronto to Rouge National Urban Park. Total ride: 40km

Public Warning for Viewing Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017

St. Thomas, Ontario, August 18, 2017 – The Health Unit is asking members of the public who watch the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21 to take a few precautions to stay safe. The sun's intense radiation (visible light, ultraviolet and infrared) can pose a serious danger, especially to an area of the eye called the retina. The retina contains very sensitive cells which absorb the sun's radiation. Once these cells are burned and damaged, they cannot regenerate.

Here are some do's and don'ts for looking at a solar eclipse:

  • Never look directly at the sun without wearing appropriate eyewear. This precaution applies all the time, not just to solar eclipses. Looking directly at the sun can damage your eyes, leading to partial or complete loss of eyesight.
  • Do view the eclipse with special eclipse glasses such as those that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard or those specifically designed and approved for solar observation. These can be purchased from science stores, museums, science centres or astronomy groups.
  • Do not use the following items to view the solar eclipse: sunglasses, color negative film exposed to light and developed, slide film unexposed to light and developed, compact discs (CDs), glass plates covered with soot, crossed polarizing filters, color acetates or any other filters not specifically designed for solar observing.

The solar eclipse on Monday will be a partial one in Canada. This occurs when the moon covers part of the sun as it moves between the earth and the sun. This means part of the sun's radiation will continue to make its way to earth, making eye damage more likely if someone looks directly at it.

For more information on solar eclipses and how to view them safely, please visit Canadian Space Agency's website at http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronomy/eclipses.asp#eclipse-august-21

An Apology May Well Be In Order - 2017-09-11

This is a report on a complaint filed in accordance with the Code of Conduct with the Municipality of Central Elgin regarding an incident at a Central Elgin Council Meeting on June 26th, 2017.

Report on a Complaint

filed in accordance with the

Code of Conduct (Affidavit)

Municipality of Central Elgin

Prepared by: John G.Maddox, JGM Consulting

As the Integrity Commissioner for the Municipality of Central Elgin I received - via the Clerk's office a complaint under your Code of Conduct. The appropriate fee and affidavit were filed in the office of the Municipal Clerk.

The affidavit is dated August 8th, 2017 and identifies two sections of your Code of Conduct, Section B (7) -- Avoidance of Waste and Section C (1) (2) -- Human Rights and Harassment. The complaint alleges that two members may be in breach of the Code of Conduct. I have had an opportunity to speak to Municipal Officials - the complainant and the two members that are under challenge on this matter.

As Integrity Commissioner, my role is to assess the behaviour of individual members with respect to complaints and does not include any review of the decision-making process. My initial review of this matter suggests that very clearly a part of these concerns rests with the Council decision process pertaining to a matter that was before Council. A ratepayer in the Municipality appeared as a delegation to Council on June 26th, 2017 to make her concerns known to Council. The complainant alleges that upon completion of her presentation two members of Council made remarks that were "unwelcome" and in fact contrary to the standards outlined in the Code of Conduct. Thus, the reference to the Sections of the Code of Conduct that were identified in the Affidavit.

The Municipal Code of Conduct very clearly sets standards that are expected to be adhered to by all members on all occasions. The Code of Conduct does suggest that Council has the obligation "To treat every person with dignity, understanding and respect."

The remarks following the presentation are clearly the catalyst for this Complaint.

The complainant has acknowledged that the decision-making process of Council is not something on which I have any jurisdiction as Integrity Commissioner and consequently will not involve myself in that discussion. The complainant further acknowledged that the Council decision regarding this matter (portable washroom) is a separate matter.

I have had an opportunity to discuss this situation (incident) with all of those who were directly involved in this and on that basis do have a much better understanding of the background that led to the June 26th incident and the subsequent Complaint.

I have had an opportunity to examine the circumstances around this Complaint and am satisfied that the facts and discussions around this matter are not in dispute.

There are two sections of the Code of Conduct that have been identified and I will deal with each of them separately:

SECTION B (7)-Avoidance of Waste

The Complaint does not identify any specific waste other than to suggest the expenditures related to this matter were "wasteful". In my opinion, the decision to spend any money on this matter was one made by Council as a group. I have no evidence to suggest that an "individual member of Council" demonstrated ''wasteful" behaviour. The decision to expend funds on this project was the responsibility of Council and they exercised that responsibility.

SECTION C (1) (2) - Human Rights Guarantees not to engage in Harassment.

This component of the Complaint is not as straight forward - the "Code of Conduct" does suggest in part that Council has the obligation "To treat every person with dignity, respect and understanding."

That clearly sets the stage for a level of conduct that provides for ratepayers to feel comfortable in addressing concerns to Council in a way that would provide for a reasonable dialogue.

Council in their Code of Conduct have set standards that insure visitors to Council are treated with dignity, respect and understanding. The members of Council have committed to these standards.

The Human Rights and Harassment component of this complaint leaves me with a dilemma - I don't believe that there is sufficient evidence for me to rule in favour of this Complaint. There are a lot of elements to a Human Rights challenge (Harassment) for which I find not sufficient evidence to rule in favour of the complainant in this instance.

I do however, in my role as Integrity Commissioner feel obligated to comment further about the incident of June 26th, 2017. I cannot condone the exchange that has been identified in the Complaint - the facts are not in dispute and I believe that kind of dialogue does not live up to the standards outlined in your Code of Conduct - while I don't believe it to constitute harassment it is clearly inappropriate and does not serve the interest and business decorum of the Council chamber. An apology may well be in order.

I believe it would be helpful for all members to review and understand the commitment that your Code of Conduct provides in establishing a public trust that is one of the cornerstones to healthy democracy.

I can recommend external resources to provide guidance in this regard if you wish.

Respectfully submitted

John J. Maddox
JGM Consulting

Risk Management Measures on the East Headlands in Port Stanley - 2017-09-22

September 22, 2017 - As part of the Port Stanley Harbour transfer agreement, Transport Canada is implementing environmental risk management measures for the Berm/East Headlands.

A soil cap is being placed over the majority of the Berm, and should be completed by late fall.

The cap will allow for a “parkland” use at the Berm.

Construction zones have been established in the area to be capped, as well as adjacent areas where soils, machinery and other project tools will be stored. Large machinery will be onsite, and trucks will be moving soil to and from the site along designated routes. The site will be fenced, and public access will not be permitted.

Existing vegetation, much of which has been identified as invasive, will be removed from areas requiring a cap. Works will be overseen by an environmental consultant, and measures required to mitigate potential environmental effects, such as sediment and erosion controls, will be in place.

Construction zones will be fenced and public access to those areas will be prohibited. For areas that will be capped using a clean soil layer, public access will be temporarily restricted after construction has been completed, to ensure the cap is stable, and that vegetation has an opportunity to establish.

Transport Canada has been working on the risk assessment since the transfer in 2010. This has included environmental investigations, preparing environmental risk assessment and risk management plan reports, addressing comments from the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), and updating the public through public information sessions and project updates.

Areas contaminated with free-phase petroleum hydrocarbons were remediated in 2016 in areas at the West Pier and East Headlands. Remediation included excavating contaminated soils, disposing of the contaminated material at a licensed offsite facility, and backfilling the excavations with clean soil. A 6-month post-remediation verification monitoring program was completed, and confirmed the remediation was a success.

For full details, the full project update from Transport Canada is available at www.centralelgin.org.

Closed Again! - 2017-09-28

One of the busiest intersections in Port Stanley is disabled again, and the detour signs are up all over town. One of the signs still standing at this intersection gives people trying to navigate the area to good understanding as to the date that this mess got started and for a prank someone used a black marker to change the year on the sign to 2018.

Needless to say that this Sewer Expansion Project has been plagued by many issues from day one, the biggest is the pollution leftover from what some people say was an old gas station that closed many years ago. Last time they closed the road for sewer work was before the busy summer tourist season when the pollution was first discovered, and since, the road got reopened and attempts at a clean-up of the area have been underway.

At the September 25th Central Elgin Council Meeting Lloyd Perrin gave an update on Pump Station 52 progress stating that excavation has started in the open section of Carlow Road and by Friday hopefully into the Carlow - Bridge intersection. That part of the Carlow - Bridge intersection will be closed for the weekend and the detour signs will be up, and that if all goes well could be all finished by Thanksgiving.

Port Stanley Heroes Rescue Package From Near-Space - 2017-10-06

Local Port Stanley heroes rescue package from near-space for space camp kids and Ontario Special Olympics

On the morning of Saturday September 30th, it was likely unknown to Randy Hentz, John Jackson, and Fiona Nisbet, three residents of Port Stanley Ontario, that they would play a pivotal role in helping the dreams of 100 kids come true. Around 6:15 pm, a small package was recovered almost 25 km into Lake Erie after completing a monumental journey to near-space and back. This package contained a very important payload – the DNA of 100 kids – and had spent the day floating high above Earth, fulfilling the dreams almost every kid has once imagined: to go to space. This was done by sending their DNA, the very essence of what makes us who we are, to near-space.

The idea came from Ray Bielecki and his son Brett, the founders of AstroNuts Kid's Space Camp in Newmarket Ontario. The club is focused around providing kids who are passionate about science and space with a safe place to share and learn more about their interests. Kids from the Greater Toronto Area gather every few weeks to learn about science, technology, and outer space from a wide range of educators including robotics specialists, members of NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, university professors and scientists, and other educators to inspire the next generation's love of learning and science. Each year would culminate in an inspirational event, from talking with former astronauts to live-calling into the International Space Station itself. After every year, Ray wanted the next project to get even bigger. "Dare to dream" was his motto. This was the birth of the AstroNuts Space Odyssey Project, an attempt to send a high-altitude weather balloon containing its 50 club members and 50 kids of the Ontario Special Olympics to space. While many space enthusiasts have sent various items to near-space (Lego figures, human hairs, pictures, etc.) using high-altitude balloons, this would be the first time that, biologically, this many kids at once would be sent up.

After over a year of planning, the launch date arrived on September 30th, at 9:00 am from Goderich Ontario. Cheek-swab kids were generously donated by Canadian DNA Services, and the swabs of 100 excited kids were placed in the small package containing a GPS tracker and two camcorders. Local weather data predicted the balloon to ascend close to 100,000 ft. As the atmosphere nearly disappears, the balloon would pop and a parachute would safely descend the package near Stratford Ontario. The team would collect the package and return the DNA to each kid with a certificate congratulating them on their journey to the top of the world, telling them they have successfully reached for the stars and dared to dream. On the toughest day that they have, or on a day they just want to make a positive influence, they can look at that certificate on their wall containing their DNA and say "Whatever faces me today, it is nothing compared to my DNA having gone into space!"

After a couple hours of tracking the balloon, it was clear that the weather models were incorrect as the balloon had gone over London, almost 50 km off course. After another hour, it appeared the package was lost, as the GPS showed the package 2 km in the air above Lake Erie. Once wet, the GPS would be unable to transmit its location. The team was ready to pack up their equipment and head for home, reassuring the kids that they've made it to space and their legacy would live on. Hopefully someone would eventually come across the package, find the return number, and call Ray. In the meantime, at least the kids would still get their certificates. Phones began to buzz with Facebook notifications as parents and kids who were tracking the package online began to realize it was lost in Lake Erie.

Before packing up they figured they may as well make a couple calls to the local OPP detachment, Yacht Club, or Legion, and leave an advertisement about the package being out there. One member joked about chartering a boat, but after that idea simmered among the group it quickly turned into a last hope. The closest town to the landing location was Port Stanley. It was a gamble, highly implausible that someone there could be of any help in such short time. The odds were stacked against them and the package was most likely lost. The GPS soon stopped transmitting, so drifting currents may have moved it from its last known location. Yet the team headed for Port Stanley anyway.

Around 4:45 p.m. the team arrived. Ray approached the first person he saw, Randy Hentz, and began to explain the situation. From Randy's perspective, it would have been easy to dismiss Ray, who began to frantically spout things about balloons, space, and boats. Yet he patiently listened to Ray's plight. At that time, Randy was likely unaware that his courtesy and eagerness to help Ray set into motion the very events that lead to the successful rescue of the package, ensuring the dreams of those 100 kids come true. Randy introduced Ray and the team to John Jackson and Fiona Nisbet, owners of the local Kettle Creek Marina. Like Randy, John and Fiona were immediately oblivious to the fact that 100 kids were relying on their decisions. After hearing the story, John and Fiona generously agreed to sail to the last known location and look for the package. To John, who has rescued people from the lake before but never a box, this was just another trip onto the water.

Four members of the team sailed 25 km out onto the water with John and Fiona around 5:30 that evening in search for the package. After 45 minutes, they arrived at the last known location, the boat slowed down, and they began to search. "There it is! I see it, red straight ahead!" one team member said. Sure enough, the package floated tranquilly in the distance, bobbing up and down on Erie's calm waves, waiting to be found. They sailed towards it, where Fiona fished it out. After another 45 minutes they arrived back on dry land and discovered that the camcorder footage and DNA card was intact, ready to be pasted onto certificates and presented to the eagerly awaited children. In total, the package traveled over 150 km, and reached an altitude of 116,000 ft., nearly record breaking and around three times higher than most commercial aircraft! To put that height into perspective, Mount Everest is 29,000 ft. high. Reviewing the footage showed the beautiful Ontarian landscape, checker-boarded with thousands of farms, and bordered by the beautiful lakes Huron and Erie, stretching hundreds of kilometres to the horizon. Even more fascinating, the beckoning blackness of space could be seen. This gorgeous footage would have never been recovered if it weren't for what happened in Port Stanley that day. Even in the rare chance that someone months or years found the package and contacted Ray, the footage and the material onboard would have been destroyed.

Retrieving the awe-inducing footage and the DNA that will act as souvenirs of 100 kids' journeys into space would not have been possible without the collective efforts of Port Stanley residents Randy, John, and Fiona. Their actions, generosity, and willingness to help total strangers are a testament to what it means to be Canadian.

Almost Back To Normal - 2017-11-03

Day to day operations at the Legion are almost back to normal. For over seven months the construction of the new sewage pumping station located at the corner of Bridge and Carlow has had a negative effect on events that have taken place at the Legion. That part of Carlow Road that was once closed and all dug up, has now been filled, levelled, and opened with a fresh primer coat of asphalt, in fact the whole Bridge and Carlow intersection has had that primer coat of asphalt.

With the construction in the area almost completed and the road paved and opened, the Port Stanley Legion Last Post Branch 410 can have their annual Remembrance Day Parade that marches across the lift bridge to the Cenotaph in Veterans Park, in front of the Legion, on Sunday, November 5th, for the 11:00 a.m. service almost free of any signs of the construction that took place there all spring, summer, and fall.

Come to the Port Stanley Legion Last Post Branch 410 and show our support for these acts of Remembrance. Everyone is welcome to attend the Remembrance Day Parade at 10:40 a.m. on Sunday November 5th, and a Remembrance Day service at 11:00 a.m. on November 11th.

Home Building Paradise - 2017-11-15

Wastell Homes is another home builder that is in the Port Stanley Real Estate Market showing pre-build concepts of what could be built on their recently purchased George Street property. According to an artist's rendering, this once farmed property adjacent to the Kettle Creek Golf Club, will be transformed into a brand new housing development of 151 new homes, a single 4-storey high-rise, and three 6-storey high-rises.

By partnering with Mike Holmes and his Holmes Approved Homes Program, Wastell Homes offers a rather unique inspection process that only this builder includes in it's new homes. This quality inspection process can reassure customer confidence that their new home purchase has been built above residential standards.

With the Toronto Real Estate Market Housing costs over the past few years escalating beyond many purchasers grasp, a movement by many cities and municipalities outside of the greater Toronto area has been to get into this very lucrative housing market. With lower land costs and taxes this interest in new housing has seen some substantial growth in the Port Stanley area over the past couple of years, and projections indicate that this will only continue because of what the Port Stanley area offers. With the Port Stanley Harbour redevelopment, a Blue Flag Beach, some of the best weather in south-western Ontario, and with some excellent Health Care Facilities close by, Port Stanley does indeed bring a lot to the table.

David Marr is 2018 Warden of Elgin County - 2017-12-13

Central Elgin – David Marr was acclaimed Warden of Elgin County at a session of Elgin County Council held on December 12, 2017.

Marr, the Mayor of Central Elgin, was unopposed in his bid for the one-year position. He had declared his intention to seek the office at the September 12, 2017 County Council meeting.

Marr has over 20 years of municipal council experience. He spent 6 years on Port Stanley Council and has subsequently served 14 years on Central Elgin Council. He first served on County Council from 1995-97 and was appointed again to serve during former Mayor Sylvia Hofhuis's absence. He returned to Council in 2010 after being elected Deputy Mayor of Central Elgin and then again in 2014 when he was elected Mayor. He previously held the office of Elgin County Warden in 2014.

In 2017 Marr served on the Elgin St. Thomas Public Health Committee, The Greenlane Community Trust, and the Social/Entertainment Committee. Between 2010 and 2012 he was part of the committee to bring an Official Plan to Elgin County. Warden Marr has a background in farming and over 34 years' experience in the tax business. He is a Port Stanley native and has been married to wife Sandy for 42 years.

Warden Marr praised outgoing Warden Grant Jones for "continuing the tradition of strong leadership," and thanked him for his "hard work and devotion to the office."

"Over the past term the team at Elgin has proven its ability to steer the County through challenging times with a steady hand," said Marr. "As a result we are uniquely positioned to tackle upcoming challenges head on, to take advantage of future opportunities, and to show the world that we are Progressive by Nature."

Marr identified the reconstruction of the new Terrace Lodge, the need for a new POA Court facility, and the development of a regional economic development strategy as priorities for 2018. He also noted that changes to the Ontario Municipal Act, Elections Act, the Employment Standards Act, and changes to Elgin St. Thomas Public Health will also be top of mind in the coming year.

Last Updated: Thursday, 28 December 2017 11:41:44 AM EST

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