The Chatham Voice, April 7, 2022

Page 1





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Head Office: 670 Irwin St., Chatham Tel: 519.351.9501

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Vol. 9 Edition 14


Waiting for spring

Tasha Bard of Ross’ Nurseymen shows off some of the pretty pansies gardeners will be taking home once warmer weather finally arrives.

Pam Wright/The Chatham Voice

Magna bringing 150 jobs to C-K

By Bruce Corcoran

Chatham-Kent officials think they have captured a form of Lightning in a bottle, with Magna Industries announcing it is setting up a production facility in Chatham. Magna will establish a

manufacturing line by late 2022 to construct battery enclosures for the Ford F150 Lightning. The plant, which will be in the old Crown Cork & Seal building at 125 Irwin St. off Riverview Drive, will mean an anticipated 150 new jobs for residents of Chatham-Kent.

Phil Page, general manager of Formet Industries, a subsidiary of Magna, said interest in the F150 Lightning has been huge, prompting Formet to look for additional production space to build the battery housings. He said the St. Thomas facility just didn’t have the space, so they

looked elsewhere. Their eyes focused on Chatham. “We had to look at facilities in a two-hour radius, and then facilities that could offer the support resources. Chatham hit them both on the head,” he said in terms of an appropriately sized building

and the support needed for it. Formet’s Irwin Street location has 170,000 square feet of floor space, a good fit for the company’s needs. Page said finding the right-sized facility wasn’t easy. There were numerous larger and many smaller sites avail-

able in and around the area, however. “The location is ideal for us too. It’s on the (Highway) 401 corridor, and this project goes into Dearborn (Mich.),” he said of the side of the Ford facility where the F150 Lightning is being produced. Continued on page 3



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Another privacy breach at CKHA

By Bruce Corcoran

It happened again. Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) officials report a large-scale breach of health records, and they

say two staffers were responsible. The two people, already terminated by the alliance, went snooping into the health records of about 120 patients. Lori Marshall, presi-


108 Keil Dr. South, Chatham • • 519-351-3881 Mon-Fri 9am-6pm; Sat & Sun 9am-5pm

dent and CEO of CKHA, said the two people don’t know each other and were not working in concert. “The breaches were unrelated. They are unknown to each other,” she said. “Both individuals do have a clerical background.” But Marshall declined to go into deeper detail in regard to from what departments the breaches occurred. This isn’t the first privacy breach at the hospital. That last large-scale privacy breach took place almost two years ago, in May of 2020, when one employee accessed the records of 40 patients. That person was also terminated. This time around, the

breach was discovered during a recent routine audit of patient electronic health records. Alliance officials discovered that the two employees accessed a number of health records without an apparent valid reason to do so. CKHA immediately launched an investigation that revealed the employees accessed the records of the 120 patients. Based on the result of the investigation and given the lack of pattern to the inappropriate accesses, it was determined these are cases of random snooping due to curiosity, officials said. CKHA can also confirm that the employees did not copy or print the health records that were inappro-

priately accessed. “CKHA is committed to patient-centred care and preserving patients’ trust in the care they are receiving and the staff providing that care,” Marshall said. “We regret that these privacy breaches happened. We will continue the routine auditing of patient electronic health records.” CKHA has reported these privacy breaches to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC). Administrators have notified individuals affected via mail. The 2020 incident was also reported to the privacy commissioner. All 40 patients were also notified of the breach. That time around, the

then-employee accessed patient hospital charts, Marshall said, adding there was nothing in common between the patients that hospital officials could determine. CKHA administration implemented a new information system (Cerner) later that year. Marshall said CKHA provides staff education with annual privacy training. The hospital will be also be implementing further privacy education through its internal communication tools. She credited the Cerner system for helping to quickly identify the snooping, adding the process is much more sophisticated than the old system.


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Expansion to meet EV demand

Continued from page 1

Darrin Canniff, Mayor of Chatham-Kent, said a great deal of preparatory work has gone into readying the municipality for

industries such as Magna. “We laid the groundwork. We had been working for several years now,” he said. “When Magna came looking, it

was into a very positive environment.” Canniff said Chatham-Kent continued to grow “leaps and bounds,” and as a result it is creat-

ing the workforce. “Whatever they need to be successful, we can do it,” he said. Jamie Rainbird, manager of economic development

for the municipality, said the new Magna production facility is a perfect fit for Chatham-Kent, which suffered earlier this century during the automotive industry downturn. The loss of Navistar and its upwards of 1,000 good-paying jobs was felt for years. “There’s been a conscious effort to diversify and grow the economy. Not relying on one large employer helps mitigate the risk from an economic standpoint,” he said. “For companies with facilities

of this size, we can’t be more excited.” The wages offered should be enticing as well. Initially, during training, pay will be at $18.55 an hour for employees. For production team members, full time personnel will earn $22.90 per hour and it will scale upwards as experience and years of service are gained. Skilled tradespeople will earn $39 per hour. Both rates are consistent with wages in the sister plant in St. Thomas, Page said.

Continued on page 5

Welcome Magna to Chatham-Kent Enjoy Walking Every Step You Take! Contributed image

The former Crown Cork & Seal facility at 125 Irwin St. in Chatham will be the new home for Formet Industries, a subsidiary of Magna, and will produce battery enclosures for the new Ford F150 Lightning electric vehicle.

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Titan Forklifts welcomes Magna Inc. to the community Chatham’s economic outlook just gets brighter and brighter. Rotimi Osuntola, consultant-business manager of Titan Forklifts together with the Titan team are excited to welcome Magna Inc. to the community. Magna announced recently it is expanding its Formet Industries subsidiary operation into Chatham to build battery enclosures for the new Ford F150 Lightning pickup truck. “We would like to welcome Magna to the community,” Osuntola said. “This is such good news for the community. We look forward to their patronage and to provide their forklifts needs. In our efforts to continue to contribute to the economic development of Chatham-Kent, it is our corporate policy to ensure the patronage of local companies in the supply of products required by our company before considering outside community suppliers. We hope Magna will imbibe the same policy thereby enabling local suppliers of materials that are available locally to fulfill Magna’s needs in this area, which we consider will be an added boost to the local economy.” Titan Forklifts, has been part of Chatham since 2016 and offers a wide variety of forklifts for industrial operations of all sizes. And that variety includes numerous electric models. “For all your forklifts needs, from electrical to combustion engines, we’re here to meet your needs,”

Osuntola said. Every Titan Forklift is designed, built and supported by a team of dedicated and knowledgeable professionals, each with their own area of expertise. They all work together to deliver a forklift that is of superior quality both in design and function; engineers, product experts, ergonomists, and operators and mechanics all come together for one purpose – to bring our products out. Titan is committed to providing a broad selection of the toughest trucks for even the most challenging applications through it reliable dealership network. Each model is designed to deliver optimal efficiency, comprehensive operator ergonomics and safety, and unsurpassed reliability at an unbeatable value for your dollar. Every unit is backed by a 5-year warranty and a network of knowledgeable authorized dealers throughout North America. If you are new to buying a forklift, carefully consider what type of forklift you need. What will the forklifts be used for? How much weight will you be lifting at one time? How high does the forklift need to reach? Will the forklift be driven indoors, outdoors or both? Is fuel type important to you? Contact us today and let us help you find the perfect forklift. We specialize in new forklifts to include everything from one ton to 48 ton, pneumatic tire, solid tire, non marking

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Production to begin later this year Continued from page 4

As far as prepping the Irwin Street building for occupation, he added it won’t take much. The landlord is in the process of retrofitting some office and washroom space, and not much else should be required. “Most of our equipment is standalone equipment that can be mounted on the floor,” he said. “We do have to put a couple of transformers in for step-down voltage.” With limited makeover requirements, he anticipated the first battery trays would roll off the line in late fall. By early 2023, he foresees the plant running three shifts and eventually producing 120,000 units a year. At first, output will be at close to 60,000 units per year. “Phase one, the implementation of our first system,” Page said, will handle that 60,000unit capacity. “Once customer volumes rise, we’ll put in the second system, which is an-

ticipated in 2023.” The first phase will see about 100 jobs. These will be filled this year. Page said the first check will be to see if anyone working at their St. Thomas facility wishes to relocate. After that, there will be local hiring. Training will initially take place in St. Thomas on the existing system in place there, Page said. “We’re Magna-tizing them,” he joked. There will be a shuttle service taking personnel to and from training, he added. Municipal officials, as well as Magna folks, predict there will be spinoff benefits in Chatham-Kent as well. “We’ll try to minimize logistics and keep it as local as we can,” Page said. “We very much expect the same thing, “Canniff said. “The bigger picture with the (Stellantis) battery plant in Windsor, we have the old Navistar site with 80-some-

odd acres fully serviced and ready to go. I fully expect more companies to start looking this way.” Battery enclosures, which all electric vehicles require, house high-voltage batteries, electrical components, sensors and connectors, contributing to the structural and safety aspects of a vehicle’s frame and protecting critical components from potential impact, heat and water. These are not your average battery housings. The Irwin Street facility will make battery trays and mid-tray assemblies that are designed to “fit between your wheel wells of your F150. They’re seven-feet long and three-and-ahalf feet wide. This has layers of batteries inside the tray,” Page said. Magna is a global employer, with 158,000 employees in 343 manufacturing operations and 91 product-development, engineering and sales centres spanning 28 countries.

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Seed time at the library The Chatham Voice

The Chatham-Kent Public Library’s successful seed program is back for another season. Aspiring gardeners are able to “borrow” seeds from all 11

Advanced Pocketed Coil® Technology is the heart of the Beautyrest Black mattress and exclusive to the Beautyrest Black library branches. to grow garline. These tripleresidents stranded coilshealthy provide Last year, a total of more than dens, access to afgreater durability than enabling traditional wrapped 6,200 seed packets including fordable food relief, while motion creating coils –while delivering pressure vegetable, herb and flower beautiful spaces. separation for undisturbed sleep, and back seeds – were distributed. Those who take part are support.

This year, CKPL hopes to hand out 8,000 packets. The initiative allows area

encouraged to return seeds back to the library at the end of the growing season.

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Lightning strikes C-K One hundred and fifty good-paying factory jobs. That’s what is coming to Chatham...for connection with the rapid expansion of production of electric vehicles. Magna Industries announced recently it is out of space to expand production at its Formet Industries facility in St. Thomas, and found a perfect location in Chatham on Irwin Street. When fully operational, the local factory will produce about 120,000 battery enclosures a year, all earmarked to head to Dearborn, Mich. to be installed in the Ford F150 Lighting electric pickup. That production will deliver those 150 jobs, with starting wages of nearly $23 per hour for assembly folks, and $39 an hour for skilled trades personnel. That is a nice shot in the arm for Chatham-Kent, as that will spark growth due to the disposable income possibilities and trickle-down effect. Yes, some of these jobs will come from people working at existing facilities here as they seek higher wages. But that will in turn create additional openings for employment. That’s just the start, the tip of the electric plug, so to speak. Formet’s general manager, Phil Page, anticipates they will utilize local producers to provide required parts for the enclosures, which house high-voltage batteries, electrical components, sensors and connectors, contributing to the structural and safety aspects of a vehicle’s frame and protecting critical components from potential impact, heat and water. So, there should be spin-off benefits in Chatham-Kent. On top of that, Mayor Darrin Canniff and economic development personnel expect our location will be prime to supply parts to support the $5-billion Stellantis battery plant coming to Windsor. In other words, charging the electric vehicle industry, as automakers are in the process of doing, should be very good business for Chatham-Kent. Our population is on the rise, and this should only add to the increase, as well as the addition of better-paying work for existing residents. Economic development officials welcome new development, of course, but especially when it comes in manageable sizes. We can all remember the economic damage that lingered in the wake of the closure of Navistar. Having a plant that once employed more than 1,000 people shut down hurt the entire community. Diversification minimizes such blows, should they occur.

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The Chatham Voice welcomes letters to the editor. Our preferred method to receive letters is via e-mail to (use “Letter” in the subject line).

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The publisher of this newspaper, CK Media Inc., reserves the right to clarify or refuse any advertisement based on its sole discretion. The publisher reserves the right to reject, discontinue or omit any advertisement without notice or penalty to either party. Liability for errors or non-insertion is limited to the amount paid for the cost of space occupied by the error. Claims of errors must be made prior to the next publication date.



Banks shows depth of caring Editor: Here we go again. The story of Elisha Banks has made headlines again in The Chatham Voice, recently. Maybe what words she used to text the foundation and the CKHA personnel on the matter was not the right thing to say. But! When one sees unfair things going on, one speaks up, or should,

and says things that you feel, right or wrong. As the editor points out that Elisha Banks’ biggest fault, if you can call it that, is she cares! In my opinion, she cares very deeply. The old saying, Elisha, is, one can’t fight city hall. You did an amazing job to raise that kind of

money over two years. If you hadn’t discovered the funds raised were not being used, it would still be collecting dust for goodness knows how many more years. You are the one that did right, and a good many of the public out there will be saying the same. When one has a cause,

thank goodness there’s a good paper in which to read it all. But in your case, Elisha, it’s not working out so well. So move on, as they say, and count your losses. Because I think you will be the unfortunate loser in the end if you don’t. Ruth Draper Chatham

Recycling, or relocating trash? Editor: It seems our collective efforts to sort our trash is mostly a waste of time. Recent data reveals that less than 10 per cent of plastics are actually recycled because we lack the facilities and costly equipment necessary. Therefore, most is sent to Africa and Asia, causing

much pollution and sickness. Our hot beverage cups contain an insulated liner, deeming them non recyclable. Much of our paper products are simply disposed because of dirt and contamination. No surprise that the re-

cent waste calendar mailing contained no data about the progress and benefits of responsible recycling residents. Instead it mostly instructs folks on how to sort/ discard material, in turn assisting municipality contracted companies in the time-consuming,

tedious, dirty task. Other countries ought not suffer because of our trash. Shame on our leaders for failing to demand accountability from the recycling hires. Reduce...Reuse...Reconsider. Richard Smids Chatham-Kent

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Consultant to oversee C-K’s woodlot issue

By Pam Wright Local Journalism Initiative

After nearly a year, the work of the municipality’s Natural Heritage Committee of the Whole has been put on hold. On March 28, Chatham-Kent council approved the hiring of a third party facilitator to oversee the development of a municipal woodlot preservation strategy – despite some 31 deputa-

tions calling on council to take immediate action. A last ditch effort to reverse an earlier NHCOTW decision to hire a facilitator came from committee chair Aaron Hall. The Wallaceburg councillor put forward a motion to cancel the March 21 decision instead of moving forward with plans to hire a facilitator. The motion failed following a 9-9 tie vote. Hall told council it’s “redundant” to issue an RFP From $69* /month

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for facilitator, adding excellent work has already been done by municipal staff and the necessary data is already there. The defeated motion also included proceeding with a 30-day online public comment period. “Frankly, seeking a third party mediator to take over is a message from this council to the community that we’re choosing to remain indifferent,” Hall said, meaning council “is not willing to make a tough decision” and is choosing not to fulfill its responsibility to the public. “This will push the issue to the next term of council,” Hall said. South Kent Coun. Clare Latimer, who put forward the facilitator concept at the last meeting, said she had to “respectfully agree to disagree” with Hall. She said she brought the facilitator concept forward because the majority of her constituents, be-

Chatham Voice file photo

The cutting of trees in rural Chatham-Kent remains a hot-button issue. However, council opted to bring in a consultant to handle the situation temporarily.

lieve facilitation will lead to “constructive conversation” rather than “more deputations and the additional broadcasting of opposing views.” Latimer said she’s been concerned with the planning strategy on woodlots “since the get-go” believing “construction conversation” wasn’t endeavoured beyond the initial survey round table exercise.” The majority of council had something to say about their position on the issue. North Kent Coun. Jamie

McGrail said there’s a need for a third party as there hasn’t been a “complete discussion. “We have to be very careful and do our due diligence and work this process,” McGrail noted. Councillors supporting the failed motion by Hall to forgo hiring a facilitator included Hall, Carmen McGregor, Joe Faas, Marjorie Crew, Melissa Harrigan, Brock McGregor, Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, Doug Sulman and Mayor Darrin Canniff. Against were Clare Latimer, Jamie McGrail,

Steve Pinsonneault, John Wright, Anthony Ceccacci, Amy Finn, Mark Authier, Michael Bondy and Trevor Thompson. The protection of Chatham-Kent’s woodlots will continue. A temporary bylaw, set to expire April 30, has now been approved following a motion from Sulman. The bylaw will exist until council approves a new heritage strategy. Council also voted to shelve public consultation and stakeholder engagement until the new facilitator has been hired.





Council names interim CAO; Shropshire to retire


Location: Veolia Environmental Services 41 Prosperity Way, near Chatham Day:


Tuesday, April 12, 2022 Saturday, May 14, 2022 Tuesday, June 14, 2022 Tuesday, July 12, 2022 Tuesday, August 9, 2022 Saturday, September 10, 2022 Tuesday, October 11, 2022 Tuesday, November 8, 2022

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The Municipality of Chatham-Kent in conjunction with Waste Connections of Canada Ridge Landfill will be holding eight Household Hazardous Waste Days between April and November in 2022. The events will be held:

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After trying to retire for the past six months, municipal CAO Don Shropshire will finally leave the Civic Centre. Council on March 28 approved the appointment of Tony Haddad as interim CAO, effective April 5. Shropshire announced his planned retirement last September. In mid-November, council revealed his replacement, then-general manager of infrastructure and engineering Thomas Kelly. However, that was never finalized. Kelly and the municipality parted ways in mid-March. A second RFP process to find Shropshire’s replacement is now underway. The first search for a CEO drew more than 30 respondents and cost taxpayers $28,000. Shrophsire said the second round is expected to be less expensive. As Waterhouse continues to help the municipality headhunt for a new permanent CAO, Haddad stepped forward to fill the position on a short-term basis. Haddad was the CAO for Tecumseh from 2007 to 2019 and most recently served as the interim CAO for Amherstburg and as a senior advisor with Strategy Corp, a public affairs, communications, and

management consulting advisory firm. Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff said the municipality is fortunate to have someone with Haddad’s experience to fill the CAO position on an interim basis. “I have every confidence that Tony and Don will ensure there is a smooth transition, and that the community will be wellserved while we fill the CAO’s position on a permanent basis,” he said in a media release. Finding a new CAO is expected to take three months. Shropshire won’t be around for that process. He said he’s has some immediate plans, but they don’t include moving out of the area. “I’ve got some personal things I’ve put off for several months,” he told The Chatham Voice. “The retirement and taking a breath will be part of that exercise.” As for the future, Shropshire said he’s at the mercy of his wife Robin and their adult children. His wife runs the Essex County Library system, and her parents live in the Kingsville area. “I will move or stay wherever my wife tells me where she wants to be,” Shropshire said. “We both love living where we live and have lots of friends here. However, my wife is

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Residents irate over shelter location Municipal councillors jeered over Murray Street homeless shelter location

By Pam Wright Local Journalism Initiative

The deal is done, but that doesn’t mean neighbours near Chatham’s new emergency homeless shelter aren’t frustrated with the decision to locate it in the vacant Victoria Park School.

At a tense public meeting March 29, angry residents packed Studio One at the Chatham Cultural Centre, armed with a host of questions for municipal officials. The spectre of increased crime, coupled with the fact nearby residents were given little warning the shelter was headed to 185


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Murray St. topped the list of concerns. When questioning the panel, Dan Comiskey, whose family has lived in the neighbourhood for 100 years, was blunt. “Where do you want us to put the needles?” Comiskey asked. “Because I’m the one that’s picking them up. This is


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my neighbourhood.” The Prince Street resident said crime is already a problem in the east end – one the criminal justice system is having a hard time dealing with. Police arrest criminals, he said, but many are back on the street within a 24-hour period. Comisky said putting the

shelter on Murray Street ness program manager, will add to the problem. told the crowd the shelter Like many others in is strictly monitored, addthe room, ing it’s not C o m i s - “Where do you want a “free hoskey said tel.” Stayers he wasn’t us to put the needles? are required happy with Because I’m the one to phone the way the that’s picking them up. ahead to process was This is my neighbourget a bed, as handled. there are no hood.” He said drop-ins. - Resident Dan Comiskey the municiMyers said pality “raila curfew is roaded” the shelter deci- enforced and clients must sion through, adding it agree to follow programwouldn’t have happened ming designed to get if the site wasn’t in Cha- them back on their feet. tham’s east side. “Studies show that the His comments were met longer a person is homewith applause. less, the more their needs But the officials re- grow,” Myers explained. sponsible for overseeing He told the gathering housing supports for that services – including Chatham-Kent say exist- a nurse and mental health ing crime is an ongoing and addiction supports, community issue and not as well as food – will be related to the operation of located onsite so stayers a shelter. won’t need to travel to acPolly Smith, Cha- cess them. tham-Kent’s executive They will be able to stay director of employment at the shelter 24-7 if necesand social services, said a sary. wide range of people use Myers told the crowd the emergency shelter, homelessness is on the rise not only the addicted and in Chatham-Kent and the mentally ill. problem is not going away “We have seniors, dis- any time soon. abled people and people He said 17 new clients with brain injuries who have accessed the Travhave nowhere they can elodge emergency shelafford to be,” Smith told ter in the last three weeks the crowd. alone. She said the municipaliWhen asked if the shelty’s goal is not to establish ter decision could be rea permanent shelter but versed, general manager instead hopes transition of community human serback to a model of tempo- vices April Rietdyk told rarily housing people in the crowd the decision has motels or other forms of been made. affordable housing, such Rietdyk went on to say as the Indwell project, the purpose of the commuthat are in the works. nity meetings is to listen to Smith did her best to as- concerns and work to see sure residents that in the how the shelter can fit into past two years that the the neighbourhood. municipality has been However, Rietdyk’s operating an emergen- comment that “we are all cy shelter, many lessons put on this earth to take have been learned. care of each other” was Josh Myers, Cha- jeered by the audience. Continued on page 11 tham-Kent’s homeless-



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Residents concerned about crime Continued from page 10

“C’mon be real,” one woman said. A recurring theme in the meeting was safety, as an Islamic school for children and youth, an early childhood education centre and a senior’s home are all located in the neighbourhood. “What’s your plan to keep everyone in this room safe?” one man asked. Panel member Sgt. Doug Cowell, who is part of the Chatham-Kent Police Services’ mobile crisis team, fielded a number of questions. Cowell said police are going to be able to help the shelter “on the ground level,” and he encouraged residents to continue to report crimes. Cowell said the property will be audited on a


regular basis, incorporating safety by design principles. He also said patrols will be stepped up in the area in June when the CKPS bike patrols take to the streets. Not everyone is against the shelter. Faith Hale, executive director of the new Ska:Na Family Learning Centre, said the centre “will do the work it needs to do” to support public safety and help families in need. “I ask you to be kind,” Hale told the crowd. “We’re going to do our job.” When questioned as to why the shelter decision was left to the last minute, Smith said finding an appropriate spot was very challenging. “By the time we got it (the site), we couldn’t postpone it any longer,”

Smith explained, noting council had to make a “tough decision.” Chatham-Kent council voted in favour of locating the shelter at the former Victoria Park school on March 21, two weeks after changing directions from the proposed Hope Haven in the downtown. At the last minute, a group of local busi-

nessmen came forward, agreeing to purchase the building and lease it to the municipality for $1 a year until May 2025, but no longer. After being encouraged by a resident to “come forward and take the heat,” councillors Clare Latimer, Brock McGregor, Anthony Ceccacci, Karen Kirkwood-Whyte,

ment Friday, naming the Tilbury North and Tilbury South stations, along with Ingleside, South Woodstock and Innisfil ONroutes as stations to feature EV fast chargers. Ontario is putting shovels in the ground to build critical infrastructure that

will boost EV ownership, support Ontario’s growing EV manufacturing industry and reduce emissions,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy, said in a media release. “With EV fast chargers now available at eleven ONroute stations along our prov-

ince’s business highways it’s even more convenient than ever for workers and families to grab a coffee or a meal while charging their car.” The new fast charging stations are part of an EV charger roll-out announced in December.

Pam Wright/The Chatham Voice

Dan Comiskey was among the speakers at a recent public meeting discuss the location of Chatham’s emergency homelessness shelter. The shelter is being relocated from the Travelodge to the former Victoria Park School on Murray Street in Chatham. A number of people in the east side neighbourhood expressed their anger about the site and the way the process was conducted.

EV chargers coming to Tilbury ONroutes The Chatham Voice

The Tilbury ONroute stations are two of the provincial stopover points that will feature elective vehicle (EV) charging stations in the near future. The provincial government made the announce-


Marjorie Crew and Michael Bondy came to the front of the meeting to stand behind the panel. A resident called out Bondy. However, he told his critic he ended up voting against the shelter after getting more information. Both Kirkwood-Whyte and Crew said they are committed to listening to residents to make the shelter viable and keep

the community safe. Kirkwood-Whyte admitted the municipality had to make a snap decision. “We got caught,” she said. “We got blindsided by the fact this issue needed to be addressed.” Murray Street resident Michael Harvey criticized the process. “This isn’t a consultation,” Harvey said. “It’s dictation. It’s insane.”

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Every year, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) organizes Daffodil Month to increase awareness about cancer and raise funds for research and various initiatives. Purchasing a daffodil pin or live flower is a good way to show your support. In addition, Daffodil Month presents an opportunity to advocate for the importance of cancer screening. Here’s a timeline of when various types of cancer should first be screened for.


PROSTATE CANCER: AGE 50 Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian men. Detected early, the survival rate is nearly 100 per cent. However, research suggests there may be more downsides than upsides to getting tested regularly. For this reason, it’s recommended that men who are about to turn 50 have a discussion about prostate cancer screening with their doctor to determine whether they’re at high risk and whether screening would be beneficial.

SKIN CANCER CERVICAL CANCER: AGE 25 People of all ages can Women aged 25 to 65 should get a Pap smear every develop skin cancer. three years. Starting when they turn 30, they should Talk to your doctor to also get an HPV test every five years. Women over 65 who had normal results over the last 10 years can forgo determine your risk factors and to schedule regular further testing. Cervical cancer is highly treatable skin exams. when caught early, making screening for it extremely important. BREAST CANCER: AGE 50 Previous guidelines recommended that women with average risk begin yearly screening at age 40. However, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care doesn’t recommend it anymore because drawbacks such as overdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment outweigh any possible benefits. The most current recommendation is to begin undergoing screening every two to three years at age 50. Breast cancer is by far the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. While survival rates are improving for all stages, the earlier it’s caught, the easier it is to treat.

LUNG CANCER: AGE 55 Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Canada. Contrary to popular belief, it’s very treatable if caught early. The problem is that 75 per cent of lung cancers diagnosed in Canada are terminal. Current smokers, as well as former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 80 should be screened with a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan.

Cancer screening saves lives, so don’t hesitate to remind friends and relatives to get tested.

COLORECTAL CANCER: AGE 50 While people with early stage colorectal cancer have a survival rate of 90 per cent, the prognosis isn’t as good for symptomatic cancers, which are usually quite advanced. For people with average risk, a first colonoscopy at 50 years We are stronger together! old is recommended, with follow-up exams depenNever give up hope! ding on the results. Earlier screening is recommended for people with increased risk, such as Rick Nicholls, MPP those who are of African-American descent, those Chatham-Kent-Leamington with a family history or those with inflammatory “Accessible And A “ACCESSIBLE AND ACCOUNTABLE ” ccountAble” bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulceCHATHAM CHATHAM OFFICE OFFICE LEAMINGTON OFFICELEAMINGTON OFFICE rative colitis. 1111 11 Heritage RoadRoad, 1Suite 15 Erie 100 Street North115 Erie Street North, Unit B Heritage

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Brock McGregor to run for NDP 32 years ago, holding the seat until 1995. Despite that fact, McGregor said After nearly eight years on mu- he thinks it is the “right time to nicipal council, Brock McGregor is step in, with the political climate eyeing a seat in the provincial leg- in Ontario and with the messaging we see and the conversaislature. tions we’ve had. Through The Chatham councillor COVID, with good health announced he’ll run for the care and investments in NDP in the Chatham-Kent– public health, it’s really imLeamington riding in the portant to see change. It’s June election. been demonstrated how It was a matter of being deeply provincial politics asked enough times that affect our everyday lives.” McGregor finally said yes. Once the campaign period “The local riding associabegins in early May, McGretion had contacted me a few times about the opportuni- Brock McGregor gor said he’ll take a leave of absence from serving as a ty,” he said. “It felt like the right time to step in and represent a municipal councillor to focus on the party I think has a really good plan provincial campaign. He declined to say if he’d run to improve lives in Chatham-Kent– again for municipal council should Leamington.” Issues the party supports that cap- he fail to be elected provincially in tured McGregor’s attention include June. In fact, McGregor said he’s affordable housing, health care and not looking at the 2022 municipal election, slated for the fall, or the long-term care. “Housing affordability is some- fact he could be campaigning twice thing we’ve seen really impact our in one year if the provincial bid falls community in the past few years. If short. “The plan right now is to focus on we are going to see our community continue to grow, we have to ad- this provincial election. For now, I’ll continue with my council responsidress affordability issues.” Home prices and rental rates bilities,” he said. “And during the continue to spiral upward in Cha- election period, I will take a leave and not attend those council meettham-Kent. “The NDP positions well to lead us ings after the writ is dropped. There is still lots of (municipal) work to be into the future,” McGregor said. The last time the NDP won in this done and some things I am hoping region was in 1990. Randy Hope to see through.” The local NDP riding association rode the Bob Rae wave into office By Bruce Corcoran

Chess club returns to library The Chatham Voice

The Chatham-Kent Public Library is looking for a few good minds. The library is re-starting a chess club. Players are needed and so too are people willing to teach the game to others. The club will meet Tuesday nights in the Community Living Café at

Chatham Branch. Players are welcome to bring their own board and pieces, or borrow a set from the library. This is a drop-in program; no registration is required; and the program is open to all ages and all skill levels. To find out more about Chatham-Kent Public Library, visit

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Dose 4 plan in the works to combat COVID By Pam Wright Local Journalism Initiative

A provincial plan to roll out dose number four of the COVID-19 vaccine for



oculate citizens 50 years of age and over, while Quebec is getting ready to vaccinate residents at-risk groups and those aged 80 and up. Scientists say a sixth wave of the virus is now underway with the BA.2 variant forming the bulk of cases. Colby wants to stress that while receiving two doses of the vaccine is considered to be full vaccination against the initial strain of COVID-19, that’s not true with the newer, more transmissi-

ble variants. “There are lots of people who need the fourth dose,” Colby explained, adding it was true only two shots were needed until the arrival of Omicron. “We are still trying to get people to get third shots,” he said. However, he said vaccination rates and protection from a previous infection will help keep numbers down. “More than half of people over 12 have received that third dose, so we’ve

got a lot of immunity,” he said. Another game changer in the fight against COVID-19, said Colby, is the availability of new antiviral drugs, which can be administered to patients before they become too ill. Both of the area’s biggest school boards are reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases, however, neither the Lambton Kent public board, nor the St. Clair Catholic board have had to close schools or classrooms.

The Chatham Voice

eral speed limit pilots and consultations and will align posted speeds with other jurisdictions across Canada, provincial officials said. “Our government continues to find new ways to make life easier and more convenient for families and businesses that depend on highways to get where they need to go,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transporta-

tion, in a media release. “With road safety top of mind, these sections have been carefully selected based on their ability to accommodate higher speed limits.” The Tilbury-Windsor section of Hwy. 401 is not the only section of highway pegged for the 110km/h limit. The QEW from Hamilton to St. Catharines, Hwy. 402 from London to Sar-

nia, Hwy. 417 from Ottawa to the Quebec border, as well as between Kanata and Arnprior, and Hwy. 404 between Newmarket and Woodbine Avenue north of Toronto will see speed limits increased to 110 km/h as well. Six other provinces in Canada have set their speed limits in excess of 100 km/h on select segments of certain highways.

Speed limit hiked on portion of 401

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those that are eligible is in the works. Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health Dr. David Colby said Thursday that officials are currently working on a new policy. “One will be forthcoming,” Dr. David Colby noted. “There’s no question…we’ve got to get our minds around that.” Colby’s comments come a day after U.S. president Joe Biden received his second booster. The Americans are now preparing a plan to in-

In two weeks, the trip from Chatham to Windsor will take a little less time. The provincial government opted to raise the speed limit on Highway 401 between Tilbury and Windsor to 110 km/h, up from its current limit of 100 km/h. The new speed limit comes into effect April 22. The change follows sev-

Community Events Thursday, April 7, 2022: • Come join us at The Chatham Legion, corner of William & Colborne St., Chatham from 11:00am-9:30pm. The kitchen is open to serve lunch from 11:00am-1:30pm. Come check out our daily specials. Everyone welcome.

• Friday night supper at the Chatham Moose Lodge, 850 Richmond St is lasagna with caesar salad and a bun. Dine ins are served at 5:30pm - $12. Pickup is at 6pm - $13. Please call daily from 1pm to 4pm at 519-352-8291 to place your order. Everyone welcome.

Friday, April 8, 2022: • The Women’s Institute of Ontario is celebrating 125 years of supporting women in Ontario and around the world. Many of us are familiar with the Tweedsmuir Community History Books which captured and preserved local community history. These books and records hold a wealth of local history which are valuable to genealogists. Irene Robillard will join us to discuss the Women’s Institute, their digital collections and the Tweedsmuir Books of Kent County. Link to Register:

Saturday, April 9, 2022: • Come and join us for a chicken and sliders lunch for $8 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm at the Chatham Moose Lodge, 850 Richmond St. Everyone welcome. Takeouts available. Call 519-352-8291.

• Come join us at The Chatham Legion, corner of William & Colborne St., Chatham from 11:00am-9:30pm. The kitchen is open to serve lunch from 11:00am-1:30pm. Supper will be served from 4:00pm-6:00pm. No orders after 5:30pm. Tonight’s specials are meat loaf or fish & chips. Take out is also available by calling 519-3518733 or 519-351-5639. Fun darts at 7:00pm. Everyone welcome.

• 2 man euchre tournament at the Chatham Moose Lodge, 850 Richmond St. Entry fee is $10 per person. Doors open at noon. Play starts at 1:00pm. • Come join us at The Chatham Legion, corner of William & Colborne St., Chatham from 11:00am-9:30pm. There will be a meat draw at 3:30, 4:30 and 5:30pm. The kitchen is open to serve lunch from 3:00pm-5:30pm. Entertainment by D.A.M. Band from 4:30-9:30pm. Come check out our menu. Everyone welcome. • Morning Breakfast Program at First Presbyterian Church (corner of Fifth St. and Wellington). A delicious and nutritious breakfast served free of charge from 9:30am-11:30am. Take out only.

Sunday, April 10, 2022: • Bingo at the Ridgetown Legion. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. $10.00 admission includes 4 cards. Jackpot $200. Sponsored by the Legion Ladies Auxiliary. Tuesday, April 12, 2022: • Come join us at The Chatham Legion, corner of William & Colborne St. Chatham from 11:00am – 9:30pm. The kitchen is open to serve lunch from 11:00am – 1:30pm. Today’s special is spaghetti with meat sauce. Come play Euchre at 1:00pm or spend the evening playing Euchre or Shuffleboard starting at 7:00pm. Everyone is welcome. Wednesday, April 13, 2022: • Come join us at The Chatham Legion, corner of William & Colborne St. Chatham from 11:00am – 9:30pm. The kitchen is open to serve lunch from 11:00 – 1:30pm. Our daily special is meat loaf dinner. Come check out our other daily specials. We have Pepper at 1:00pm and fun darts at 7:00pm. Everyone is welcome. Thursday, April 14, 2022: • Come join us at The Chatham Legion, corner of William & Colborne St. Chatham from 11:00am – 9:30pm. The kitchen is open to serve lunch from 11:00am – 1:30pm. Come check out our daily specials. Everyone is welcome.

Classifieds Coming Event EASTER CRAFT EVENT! OVER 20 VENDORS! Saturday, April 9, 2022. 10am-3pm. The Wednesday Market. 9877 Longwoods Road. Facebook: Easter Craft / Vendor Event. New Members Welcome Kent Coin Club is welcoming new members. Adults, teens and children. Call Paul 289-228-2817. Loans



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Classifieds In Memoriam

Bonnie Marie (Sutherland) McGhie, born on May 14, 1927 in Chatham, Ontario passed away on March 23, 2022 at the Chatham-Kent Hospice at the age of 94. Cause of death was congestive heart failure. Bonnie was predeceased by her husband Adelbert George Singleton (Kit) McGhie (Sept 4, 1992), her parents Edith (Robinson) and Ernest Sutherland, and all of her siblings Marion (Eddie), Grace (Jack), Don (Mildred), Ruth (Bill), Barb (Jim), and Jack (Donna). Bonnie is lovingly remembered by her family who all reside in Winnipeg: children Denise (Noulan-2013), Scott, Rob (Barb), grandchildren Megan and Tyler (Kate) and great grandson Mason. Bonnie and Kit met at Mirwin’s Department Store where they both worked. They married on April 23, 1949 in Chatham and raised their children in Stacey Subdivision. Dad built a cottage at Rondeau Park, which they enjoyed for 10 years. They developed many friendships with the Kinsmen and Kinettes and during their boating years at the Chatham Yacht Club with their “Little White Boat”. Playing cards was a favourite activity with friends, and whatever cash pot Dad lost Mom usually won! In 1980 Bonnie kept the home fires burning while Kit, Scott and Rob headed to Winnipeg to open our family chain of 30 hair salons in the early 80’s. All of our family members have worked in the company (Kittson Investments/Singleton’s Hair Care) over it’s 40+ years of operation in Winnipeg and Edmonton. After Dad passed on, Mom maintained our family home until she moved into St. Andrews Residence in 2013. Mom enjoyed the supportive, friendly and caring environment at St. Andrews over these past 8+ years. Every day she chose a lovely outfit, made sure her hair looked good (even in the back) and put on her lipstick before she left her room. To express her appreciation of the staff, she delighted in packaging and handing out small chocolate bar treats. Friends were always welcome at the McGhie’s, where you would often find 4 to 12 cars tightly parked in the driveway and on the boulevard. As kids we had pyjama, dance and teen parties, and the parents had cocktail and card parties. Imagine only one bathroom too! We remember Mom often saying, “Think Good Thoughts”. In appreciation we would like to acknowledge the ongoing care and support Mom received from all the staff at St. Andrews, and at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (especially Alli and Mary). We especially thank and greatly appreciate Faye Geddes for her friendship, love, caring, support, dedication and liaison with all Mom’s medical and health care professionals for over 30 years, and to our family. We also thank Brent Moor, Bernadette Couture, and Mom’s hairdresser a la chauffeur Susan Riddel for their supportive and caring friendships. And lastly, we want to thank and acknowledge Dr. Kate Bailey for her continued care and guidance in arranging many surgeries, moving Mom into St. Andrews initially for rehab and the rest of her life, and smoothing the way into the hospice for her last days. At Bonnie’s request their will be no service. Memorial donations may be made to St. Andrews Residence, 99 Park St., Chatham, ON. Condolences for the family may be offered online at or emailed to

Charles Peter Opavsky

Passed away peacefully after a lengthy illness on Friday March 25, 2022 at the Chatham Kent Hospice. He was born in Chatham on October 30, 1933, son of the late John and Anna (Zajdlik) Opavsky. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Alice (Tomecek) Opavsky, sons Chuck (Jackie), Christopher, David (Darlene) and daughter Stephanie (Martin) Konecny, 10 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Also survived by sister Anne (Ververka) and brother John Opavsky. Predeceased by brothers Frank and Joseph Opavsky. Charles was a member of St. Ursula’s Parish and proud member of the Knights of Columbus. Special Thanks to Dr. Kate Bailey, Dr. David Hoffman, and nurse practitioner Carrie Wood and Lynn Reid-Barbour for the loving care given to Charlie. Friends and relatives may visit on Friday April 8, 2022 at St. Ursula’s Church (205 Tweedsmuir Ave. W.) from 10AM until the time of funeral mass at 11AM. In lieu of flowers please consider giving support to the Chatham Kent Hospice Foundation, Canadian Food for Children or any other charity of your choice. Arrangements entrusted to Hinnegan Peseski Funeral Home (519-352-5120).


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Joseph “Joey” Wheeler July 10, 1967 - April 11, 2019

In Memoriam

George Aitken January 4, 1931April 7, 2015 Though his smile is gone forever And his hand we cannot touch We have so many memories of the man we loved so much His memory is our keepsake With which we’ll never part God has him in his keeping We have him in our hearts

Always In Our Hearts Your loving family

Love and miss you Doreen, Randy, Paula, Linda, Tom, Tim, Janet, Gary, Mary, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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Mary Louise Langlois 65, Saturday, March 26, 2022 Kendrick Funeral Home

Eddie Myers 32, Sunday, March 27, 2022 McKinlay Funeral Home

Tony Barbuto 93, Friday, April 1, 2022 Hinnegan-Peseski Funeral Home

June Munro 100, Monday, March 28, 2022 McKinlay Funeral Home

Charles Peter Opavsky 88, Friday, March 25, 2022 Hinnegan-Peseski Funeral Home

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Patricia Hewitt 91, Sunday, March 27, 2022 Life Transitions

Pamela Jane Anne (Myers) Druer 68, Thursday, March 31, 2022 Nicholls Funeral Home

Rebecca Martin Thursday, March 31, 2022 Life Transitions Leo Faber 65, Saturday, April 2, 2022 McKinlay Funeral Home

Generations of Families Continue To Place Their Trust With Us 156 William St., Chatham | | 519.352.5120

4 Victoria Ave, Chatham (519) 352-2390 Serving Kingsville, Wheatley & Chatham

60 Stanley Street, Blenheim (519) 676 – 9200

A Part of Wallaceburg since 1943.

80 McNaughton Ave. Wallaceburg, ON

519.627.2861 • 519-351-4444

459 St.Clair St., Chatham • 519-351-2040 76 Main St. E., Ridgetown • 519-674-3141 141 Park St., Blenheim • 519-676-3451

245 Wellington St. W., Chatham 519-352-2710




Partner Assault Response Program - specialized group counselling to those who have been court mandated to attend in response to a domestic violence criminal charge. Caring Dads Program - specialized group counselling to fathers who are at risk of abusing, have abused their children or have abused their children’s mother.