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November 17, 2016 Volume 12 No. 46

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Spreading kindness with The Jeremiah Effect

SEAN MEYER The Weekly News

Sharing messages of positivity is nothing new for children’s entertainer and motivational speaker Saidat, but the death of a friend earlier this year is giving her the chance to put a name to it. Jeremiah Krahn, 20, was killed in a threevehicle collision on Aug. 5, his death devastating friends and family alike, including Saidat who has known Krahn’s father for more than 20 years. Saidat, herself a mother of two, took the positivity she said Jeremiah always expressed and added it to her motivational show, I Can Survive School, which she brought to Davenport Public School in Aylmer on Nov. 10. “His kindness, his respect for others, his inclusion, was a part of who he was and is what his friends remember him by,” she said. “That was something we wanted to bring into our show because our show is all about inclusion, feeling good about yourself, and helping others feel good about who they are.” The new slogan has been named The Jeremiah Effect, which is based on a favourite quote from the young man, “We can make the world so much better with kind words.” When Saidat sees students using kind words, including others in the dance parties she hosts, or being part of her motivational presentations, she’ll now acknowledge that moment and tell them they have The Jeremiah Effect. “This is something I wanted to put into our show. Last year, we gave hearts away to students to represent kindness. I’m going to use this throughout the year,” she said. “It adds community. You realize you really can make a difference. Whether you are living or you have passed on, your legacy lives on. If we can leave our legacy with positivity, then that makes our world a better place.” That sentiment brings comfort to Krahn’s parents, Maribel and Herman, who attended the slogan launch at Davenport, a school all of their kids, including Jeremiah, attended. Maribel admitted to “mixed feelings” around taking part in the assembly, adding while it was painful, they were honoured to be there.


Children’s entertainer and motivational speaker Saidat (centre) gets warmed up for a Nov. 10 show at Davenport Public School, in Aylmer, with a little encouragement from Kyle McVea (left) and Dan “The Man” Clarkson.

“He was very tolerant of people. He loved people, and was very inclusive,” Maribel said. “It’s good Saidat is delivering that message. I think it’s positive she’s telling the kids they matter and that they’re important. It’s important for the kids, but it’s a message important for everyone.” Herman agreed it was difficult to come to the launch, but having known Saidat for so long, and being a supporter of her work, it was something he felt he needed to do.

It also offered him an important personal moment, as well. “It is about healing,” Herman said. “I think any stage that has positive feedback, without question, is part of that healing process.” Saidat may live in London, but Elgin County holds a special place in her heart. Her first performance as a motivational speaker was actually in St. Thomas at the Ontario Early Years Centre.

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However, her ideas started to form in communities like Aylmer, which has been part of her journey to being a nationwide speaker for young people. Especially given the way things are in the world today, Saidat said, where children are exposed online to “so much hatred, so much protest, so many things that are just there to help keep us angry and mad at the world,” it’s important they see kindness is effective as well.

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St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


Police briefs

Puppies thrown from vehicle

Elgin County OPP are looking for the public’s help in investigating an incident where four Jack Russell puppies were thrown out of a moving vehicle. On Nov. 10, at 8:10 p.m., police were contacted when a bystander saw an early 2000s black, four-door Ford Explorer pull up near their residence’s driveway and throw four Jack Russell puppies out of the moving vehicle. The residence is located between McKillop and Dunborough roads on Talbot Line. The puppies appeared to be about six to seven weeks old. Three of the puppies were said to be seriously injured. An unknown person pulled over in their vehicle after seeing the bystander in the ditch area looking for the puppies. The unknown person then took the three most seriously injured puppies to an emergency veterinarian located in London. The suspect vehicle’s rims and lower panels were rusted, and it had a loud muffler.

Anyone with further information on this incident is asked to contact the Elgin County OPP at 519-6312920 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222TIPS (8477), where they may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

purpose of trafficking, trafficking, and possession of property obtained by crime. He was held for a court appearance and remanded into custody. The total street value of the seized items was more than $3,000.

Traffic stop leads to charges A 20-year-old St. Thomas man is facing drug charges after a traffic stop on Talbot Street. On Nov. 12, at around 2 a.m., St. Thomas police stopped a vehicle for speeding on the west end of Talbot Street. When the officer engaged in conversation with the driver, she suspected there was marijuana contained in the vehicle. When questioned further, the man turned over a quantity of marijuana, pills, and crack cocaine to the officer. The man was arrested and taken to the station where he was charged with numerous drug-related offenses including possession for the

Charges follow foot chase A 35-year-old St. Thomas man is facing numerous drugrelated charges after a foot pursuit. On Nov. 11, at around 5:45 p.m., St. Thomas police engaged the man at the west end of Talbot Street where he fled the scene on foot. After a short foot pursuit the man was apprehended, but not before discarding some of the product in his possession. The man now faces numerous charges including possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, obstructing police, resisting arrest, and possession of property obtained by crime. The man was held in custody for a bail hearing.

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Dangerous drug now on St. Thomas streets

The St. Thomas Police Service is issuing a public warning about the dangers of the prescription drug fentanyl, and the synthetic drug carfentanil. The use of this drug outside of prescribed methods can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. Since Oct. 28, St. Thomas police and EMS have responded to three overdoses where fentanyl — or a more toxic variant known as carfentanil — was suspected, but not yet confirmed, to be used. In two of these cases the persons involved survived due to the quick actions of paramedics. Unfortunately, a third person died. Communities across Ontario are increasingly reporting the presence of socalled “bootleg” fentanyls in local illicit drug markets in both pill and powder formulations. Bootleg fentanyl is highdose, illicit opioids much more toxic than morphine, which are produced and distributed by the black market, and are distinctly different than produced fentanyl patches. Fentanyl is a strong opioid doctors prescribe to help patients manage chronic pain.

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It’s estimated to be 80 times as powerful as morphine, and hundreds of times more powerful than heroin. It has also found its way onto the streets across Canada laced with other drugs like cocaine and heroin. The variability of the dose of this substance from one tablet or powder to the next can be extreme. This greatly increases the risk of overdose; it isn’t simply the potency or toxicity of it. Carfentanil and other fentanyl-related substances can work very quickly, so in cases of suspected exposure, it is important to call EMS immediately. Naloxone is used as an antidote when someone overdoses on fentanyl, and is available free of charge to those who use substances, their friends and their family from several local pharmacies. The St. Thomas Police Service encourage anyone who no longer requires this medication, or any other prescribed medication, to turn them into a pharmacy for destruction. Anyone with information on the illegal possession of prescription medication, including fentanyl, is asked to call local police agencies or Crime Stoppers.


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St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News




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The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


Farm pressures topic of agriculture roundtable

SEAN MEYER The Weekly News

As a woman who grew up on a dairy operation outside St. Thomas and married a life-long farmer, Jane Elliott has what could be called well-informed feelings about the state of the Canadian farm. So when she says the agriculture sector is in trouble, she hopes it’s a message that is taken seriously. “We have challenges, and if not addressed . . . the sector will become even more challenged in a short period of time,” Elliott said. “I think my one message would be that agriculture is lost right now. Rural Ontario and rural Canada is getting lost in the shuffle and that has to be addressed.” Elliott delivered that message to Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Karen Vecchio who hosted an Agricultural Town Hall meeting before about 30 people, Nov. 9 at CASO Station. The meeting provided individuals in the agricultural industry, from farmers and producers, the opportunity to discuss current agricultural policies and see where improvements can be made

Vecchio said she will take the group’s feedback and present it to the Conservative Party’s agricultural caucus, as well as the Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay. “One of the most important things we can do, as government officials, is make sure we’re listening. I want to make sure we always have these open discussions,” Vecchio said. “If there’s something that isn’t working, we need to be able to discuss it and they need to know their government is listening. It’s important we hear from people who live this business every day.” The importance of the roundtable discussion, Vecchio said, is reflected in having more than 20 percent of the local economy represented in farming, along with the one-in-eight Canadians who are employed in some segment of the agricultural sector. “The producers are the experts on this; they know what they do on a daily scale,” Vecchio said. “As politicians, we’re removed form that so it’s really important we’re hearing from them on the ground.” That is a sentiment Paul Ward wholeheartedly agreed with.


Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Karen Vecchio chats with some of the ­approximately 30 participants at an Agricultural Town Hall meeting, held Nov. 9 at CASO Station.

After all, Ward is not only president of the Middlesex Federation of Agriculture, but he also has two sons committed to farming. From his perspective, and particularly in light of Donald Trump’s unexpected U.S. presidential vic-

tory, Ward said he hopes the federal government will remain focused on international trade. “Even though we’re so proud of how many millions go across the border every day from Canada to the U.S. and U.S. to Canada, we

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have to look for other markets,” he said. “We’re now involved with Europe, we’re in the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), we have to start going for China, for Korea, for Japan. We are a trading nation, especially with wheat, pigs and cattle. Now that Donald Trump’s in, it’s a whole new ballgame.” The financial viability of farming is another concern Ward said needs to be addressed. For example, Ward pointed out sows are $50 apiece when he suggests the price should be $300$400. In addition, beef prices have dropped to half of what they were last winter. Personally, Ward said he made only $1,000 off his 50 acres of wheat and if he didn’t have the straw to sell, he wouldn’t have made anything. “Between the municipalities, the provincial government that doesn’t know what a farm is and the federal government, we’re in trouble,” Ward said. “I have two farmers in my area right now that have their farms for sale. They’re going to move because they can’t afford to live here anymore. We have to do better.”

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Prevention, intervention and postvention are what Farmtown Canada executive director Kelly Franklin said the agency offers to youthat-risk living in Elgin County. The charitable organization hosted an evening with Canadian Olympian Silken Laumann on Nov. 10. Known for her resilience in the face of adversity, Laumann said her life changed after the scull she was training in for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics collided with another boat, leaving her with 200 splinters of wood in her right leg. The accident nearly ended her Olympic dream, but Laumann, sharing her story, said her belief in herself and a lot of retraining allowed her to make a comeback that saw her earn a bronze medal. “I had dreamed of going to the Olympics since I was 11. When the doctor in Germany told me I’m not going to go to the Olympics, I couldn’t accept it,” she said. “I was so focused and so determined to go — same as what you see in Kelly Franklin. This woman is unstoppable and both myself and my husband will be supporting her agency by sponsoring 10 girls.”

Most people, Laumann said, only remember 10 weeks of her Olympic rowing career, and she found it interesting how one moment changed people’s perception of her. After the accident Laumann spent 10 days in a German hospital, followed by another 10 days at a hospital in Victoria, B.C. During those days, she wheeled herself down to a stationary bicycle and spent 90 minutes a day trying to retrain her leg enough to compete. “In a crisis, it’s really hard to believe you’ll get out,” she said. “I kept believing I would go to the Olympic Games, and I went.” In addition to being an award-winning athlete, Laumann is also a published author, writing a book called Unsinkable. The memoir documents a dark childhood that left her battling anxiety and depression. “The most terrifying thing I’ve done is write and publish my book,” she said. “It’s a raw, honest memoir about my life and my story dealing with mental anxiety and depression. I’m hopeful it will inspire, encourage and support others who are going through the same thing.” After the book came out, Laumann started a journey to develop her sense of self-

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016

Olympian’s journey reveals her authentic self



Olympic medalist Silken Laumann (third from right) delivered the keynote address at the Farmtown Canada fundraiser held Nov. 11 at CASO Station in St. Thomas. Among those joining her were (from left) Joe Preston, George Franklin, Kelly Franklin, Malahide Mayor David Marr and St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson.

love. She said her journey allowed her to become her authentic self. “I learned so much about myself and my family,” she said. “I learned that I am

a person who has a story, who has made mistakes but when I started to love and accept that person it changed my relationships.”

Farmtown Canada continues its decade of evolution Bringing Canadian Olympic athlete Silken Laumann to St. Thomas was just one of the many fundraisers Farmtown Canada has held since George and Kelly Franklin started the organization almost a decade ago. Seeing a need in the community for mentoring at-risk children and youth, the agency has evolved from running children’s camps to becoming certified in the equine assisted therapy program, allowing people the chance to start healing themselves by working with horses.

“There’s such a need in our society for people who have mental unwellness and we just find this provides them a real answer,” George said. “It helps them be productive and know there’s hope. That’s what it’s really about — giving hope to people who feel they have none.” Former Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Joe Preston is president of the board of directors, and said he has witnessed first-hand the kind of impact the agency provides to local residents. “Kelly is the person who says yes to helping others,” he said. “Anyone who walks

down her driveway receives the best care she can give.” In addition to the farm, the Franklins also provide shelter to young women in need, something Kelly said is always difficult to discuss because their stories can’t be told until they come of age. As part of the gala event on Nov. 10 at CASO Station, Franklin introduced Mandy, one of the young women staying on the farm, who told the crowd help is needed now. “Every day we get to help someone and heal them and start our own journey of wholeness,” Kelly said. “We have to break

the stigma around mental unwellness and the first step is getting to those who need help.” New in 2017, the agency will be running two different fundraisers — a nogolf golf tournament, and a no-run marathon, which Preston jokingly admitted he liked the idea of. Ways to donate include a $39/month sponsorship that provides a child with supervised equine sessions, interaction with on-site animals, healthy meals, Saturday programs and transportation. Even as little as $25 can provide wholesome meals for five children. Monthly Donors Since 2014 Diane and Dave Vaughan, St. Thomas

“Dave and I became members of the STEGH Foundation’s “Jumbo Club” two years ago. It’s an easy and affordable way for us to support patient care excellence at OUR Hospital on an on-going basis; and a monthly gift becomes a significant annual donation! We hope others in our community will join us as members. It’s the best health club we know, and together we can make a real difference.”

St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News



St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


Standing at the podium Comments from children MICKEY’S WORLD Mickey Reid

During the past week, I had to do something most people find terrifying. I had to make a speech. I alternated between what would be worse — deciding what to say or actually speaking in front of perfect strangers. My imagination went wild with visions of comedians saying ruefully, “You’re a tough crowd tonight” when a joke flopped. There is much to consider when you prepare to make a speech. Interestingly, the length is as important as the message itself and quite tricky to gauge accurately. Many people have experienced sitting through drawn-out, boring monologues (mostly at celebrations serving free-flowing liquor). I found it helpful to record my talk, timing its length and clarity. If it fell short, I could expand a few key points. Alternately, removing less significant items would keep it from running too long. I played it repeatedly to achieve the perfect dialogue. After 30 renditions, I’d

memorized it but decided a voice transplant was an absolute necessity. To stay on point, one of my colleagues confided that she uses her cellphone’s countdown timer as a visual reference while she speaks. Great idea, but I’d be horrified that mine would insolently belt out my “Jaws” music ringtone on a whim. Picturing yourself at a podium makes you acutely aware of your physical appearance. Conservative and “trip proof” shoes are essential. Hair is scrutinized for alfalfa tendencies, and clothes for perpetual cat hair decoration. Your attire should bring you to the forefront, but not so glitzy as to replicate a walking disco ball. Pre-speech fears creeped in as anticipation grew. Would I look at the audience with a deer in the headlights expression? Would I lose my place or forget the words? Would my voice be too soft, too loud or croak? Would I just take to the microphone like Mick Jagger? Dale Carnegie once said, “There are always three speeches for everyone. The one you gave, the one you practiced, and the one you wish you gave.” When all was said and done, that bit of wisdom rang true and I’d come to my own conclusion about speech making. Even if you forget the presenter but took home the message, it was a success.

Chasing a less noble goal AS I SEE IT Rick Wellwood

In the running to replace Stephen Harper as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, candidate Kellie Leitch withdrew from a leadership debate earlier this week, citing unspecified threats. She never had a chance to make her pitch that night, but anyone who wants to know what she thinks can go the website of Donald J. Trump. She agrees with much of what he says about immigration and though she appears a little “hard-boiled” there is much about Leitch that is admirable. To begin with, she is a pediatric surgeon and many children owe their better lives to her. She is highly regarded in the field of medicine and has taught pediatrics at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine. In other

words, she is a person of some value to society and doesn’t have to dive into the cesspool of politics. It is not about the money. She has some ideas she is willing to espouse for the good of Canada, including that every immigrant arriving here is screened for adhering to “Canadian values.” Someone out there may inform me as to what the term actually means. She was elected to a riding whose incumbent left in disgrace and she is in the race to replace a prime minister who was eventually booted from office over 10 years of miscalculations and environmental neglect. She is obviously talented as a medical practitioner and why she wants to emulate people like Donald Trump or the late Rob Ford is a real question. Why does she want such a job, particularly when her unpopularity is climbing? It’s a shame given her skills and experience improving the lives of Canadian children. We can only hope she loses the race and returns to a position that benefits Canada.

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tions with children. For instance, when asked, “What does it mean when someone says she left us”? A child responded, “she forgot us, HEALING A HEART’S she didn’t like us or she ran away”. LOSS The terminology used by many adults “he Barbara J. Saunders kicked the bucket” brought responses from children such as; “He kicked it because he didn’t like it.” With the comment, “He folChildren are amazing at any age. Their view and understanding of the world changes lowed the lights” a child stated he did this beas they grow with each experience; happy or cause “he needed to get home or he followed sad. When death is a part of the conversation a lamp.” When hearing “he bit the dust” the child what they see, hear and say is true for their said, “He ate the dust because he didn’t know level of understanding. what it was.” The expression, “He expired When dealing with sadness, children may “confused the child and she did not know what make comments such as; “When you don’t want anyone to see you crying you can stand to think of it, therefore she had no comment. “He went to Europe” was the child’s in the shower and let the water wash away the tears” or “I pretend I’m happy, even when I am response to the statement, “Jim is in a better place.” “Rest in peace” meant he’s in a playing with my friends.” Children pick up on more than what is said quiet room and “She didn’t make it” elicited to them. They watch, learn and feel their emo- thoughtful suggestions such as; to her appointment, to her class, she got fired from her job, tions and the emotions of others. One child and jokingly, to the bathroom. said, “Just be happy mommy.” As I said, children are amazing. Pay attenWhen younger children are asked a few questions about words used to describe death tion to the words you use. Barbara Saunders is a grief counsellor/ they come up with true literal interpretations. thanatologist. A recent video I saw showed such conversa-

Finding that external help

driver’s side. You see without some external help to clean the windshield we would be SOMETHING TO heading for a crash. Wipers are great! They clear things up so we THINK ABOUT can move along safely in various storms and Pastor Cusick weather. It is only when they are not working — or we have lousy wiper blades that we even care. Two weeks ago I was in Cuba, and had There are many things in our lives that we taken my hosts out for a supper meal. On the need to keep moving forward so we don’t way back to the university where I was teach- crash. We need ‘external help.’ There was no ing, it began to rain quite profusely. amount of wiping the inside of that windshield I wasn’t paying close attention and heard a in Cuba — the issue was on the outside, and rather loud crash on the windshield — loud we needed external help. enough that I thought a branch from a tree What are the external helps that you need had fallen and hit us. However, I looked up to keep you from crashing in life? Let me and saw that the wiper blade that had been offer a few ideas. Probably the first thing that working overtime to accommodate the rain comes to my mind is God. I know for me I fell off. It was my side — the passenger side cannot be who I need to be without Him. He — as I happened to be sitting in the front seat is one my external helps. He helps me to keep of the van. The driver pulled over and went things in focus and to act appropriately. The outside to inspect the problem. The wiper second thing that comes to my mind is other arm had actually fallen off the van. He simply people. But, these are certain kinds of people. disconnected the washer hose, and brought the These kinds of people can be characterized entire wiper inside the van. And, off we went. mostly by their love and commitment to me as However, things are now different. It started a person. They love me too much to not warn to rain again, quite heavily at times and my me when I need to be warned. vision is now blurred. Thankfully, it was the External helps — and that, is something to passenger-side wiper that broke and not the think about.

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that issues that impact this group are highlighted just now. Now, more so than ever, we can begin to War veterans and their use of medical talk about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder marijuana has been making big news lately. (PTSD) and the psychological toll that war With Remembrance Day having just taken can have on soldiers. PTSD can seriously place it is certainly timely and reasonable disrupt lives with the presence of symptoms that make it difficult to feel safe. Sufferer’s may describe feeling hyperaware of their environments, anxious and guarded much of the time, or may struggle with a flood of E R terrifying memories that they are powerless LO C A L D E A L S A ! W O N G to stop. IN N E HAPP Efforts to address the stigma of mental health appear to be gaining momentum. As such speaking more openly about war veterans and mental health should facilitate .com supportive conversation. Several years ago speaking openly regardMIA PINTUS

For the Weekly News



ing personal and ongoing disturbances that arose directly because of exposure to war was near impossible because the stigma was so intensely felt, but that is beginning to change. According to Veteran’s Affairs Canada “It is estimated that up to 10 percent of war zone veterans — including war-service veterans and peacekeeping forces — will go on to experience a chronic condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” These are numbers that the public simply cannot ignore. I had hoped that socially we were ready for more informed conversations about mental illness. But as media coverage of the widespread use of medical marijuana for the treatment of PTSD in war veterans continued to hit

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016

Use of medical marijuana for war vets needs discussion


the news I had to wonder if their remained a higher standard to which we secretly hold war veterans. Does that higher standard, if indeed one exists, make meaningful dialogue about mental health of war veterans more difficult to achieve, and more risky for veterans themselves to participate in directly? Does this standard restrict or perhaps even silence meaningful discussion on the treatment of PTSD? As we ask why the use of medical marijuana for treatment of PTSD has become so popular within this group, we should also be asking what else we should we be doing to help better support war veterans who are still struggling, post war, with their experiences. Central Community Health Centre

Elgin's Bounty Utter the words “Brussels sprouts” and you are likely to be met with expressions of disgust and turned-up noses. But the fact of the matter is, this cold-weather vegetable is quite delicious when prepared properly. Gone are the days of simply boiling this mini cabbages until they are a mushy, lifeless mess. There are so many great ways to prepare Brussels sprouts that are so much more delicious than the sprouts from our childhoods. One of the easiest and best ways to prepare Brussels sprouts is roasting. Trim the stem end of the sprouts, and toss them with good-quality olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the seasoned sprouts in a baking dish and bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring once or twice during cooking. The result will be a sprout experience like you’ve never had before. Another delicious and easy way to prepare Brussels sprouts on even a

busy weeknight is to sauté them. Add them to a hot skillet with olive oil, onions, garlic, and bacon. Add some raisins or dried cranberries and a splash of fresh orange juice for the perfect sweet counterpart to the other robust flavours. Brussels sprouts are great raw, too! Shred them and use them in addition to, or in lieu of, traditional cabbage in coleslaw or to add some flavourful and healthy crunch to a green salad. If you are haunted by recollections of childhood meals featuring a showdown between you and Brussels sprouts, it’s time to exorcise those demons and give the sprouts another try. They are delicious, versatile, affordable, nutritious, and readily available this time of year, so there’s never been a better time to give Brussels sprouts a second chance.



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St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

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St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


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DANCE EXPRESSION: Members of the Expressions Dance Arts junior cheer teams — hailing from St Thomas, London and Ilderton — participated in the London Nationals Remembrance Day game Nov. 11. The cheerleaders ranged in age from 6-12 years old. They were part of a special pre-game ceremony to honour war ­veterans and also performed throughout the game.

CALLING ALL HOME COOKS AND BAKERS ke i y l o d u l r u o r e w c i p s e w s e f N o r y l o ur 2 0 1 6 k e e W e h T HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS COOKBOOK

You can have your recipes featured in this free local cookbook! Send us your very best appetizers, main course, desserts, cocktails and even something for your furry friend! Please send your best recipes to, or drop off a copy at 15 St. Catharine St, St. Thomas. If your recipe is selected, your name will be printed beneath it. Home For The Holidays will be distributed door to door to all of Elgin County! Surprise your friends and neighbours when they see your name and recipe in this keepsake cookbook!

Recipes must be submitted by November 21st to be eligible.

New owners plan on Elgin Mall revitalization

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016

it’s an important part of the community and we aren’t just referring to St. Thomas. We include Centre The 1989 movie classic Field of Elgin, really Elgin County.” Dreams had one central theme: “If The Burstein family business is you build it, he will come.” based out of Brampton and curFor Jay and Mory Burstein, the rently has retail properties in not new owners of the Elgin Mall, that only their home community, but mantra could be changed for more also in Oshawa and Guelph as well. of a retail focus — if you fill it, the Mory said he was “very surpeople will come. prised” to see Elgin Mall had the “We want people to know we vacancies it has, especially considaren’t here to tear the mall down; ering the good condition it’s in and we want to make how well it had it as successbeen maintained ful as we can, as by the previous quickly as we owners. can,” Mory said. Not surpris“We want people ingly for men who “People don’t like uncertainty, so we to know we aren’t make a living in want to make sure the retail real espeople know what here to tear the mall tate market, Jay down; we want to said they’ve seen we have planned. And that is to make it as successful malls in similar make this mall a sized cities that as we can.” success. We’re are run down and excited for the opout of date. HowMory Burstein portunity.” ever, he is quick Located in the Elgin Mall co-owner to add the family east end of St. was “pleasantly Thomas, the Elgin surprised” by Mall has 263,000 sq. ft. of space what they saw in their visit to St. and — currently — 32 retailers/ Thomas. services, including significant an- But aesthetics alone, Jay said, chors such as the Metro grocery wouldn’t have been enough for store, Galaxy Cinemas and the Fit them to take on the challenges that 4 Less gym. lie ahead of them. These anchors, not to men- “I think it’s a great gathering tion the improving fortunes of St. place for family. They can walk Thomas and Elgin County, helped between the stores. It has a good entice the Burstein’s family own foundation of tenants to work real estate investment business to upon. The Metro, the movie theinvest in the Railway City. atre, the gym, those are good anThe family closed the deal to chors,” he said. “There are certain purchase the mall on Oct. 19. tenants we think should be here “We first came here in July; and we hope to get them to underwe were very impressed with stand they should be here too.” St. Thomas, impressed with the Mory said it’s important the mall. We came down and looked community knows the family is in at it, and we really see potential. St. Thomas for the long term and We really like the city, enjoy the despite some rumours they have people we’ve met,” Jay said. “We heard, they have no intention of came here thinking we can change flipping the property or demolishthings, revitalize it. We recognize ing it.


SEAN MEYER The Weekly News


Mory (left) and Jay Burnstein, the new owners of Elgin Mall, are excited about the future of their latest retail real estate investment. The family owned business took over the east end St. Thomas mall on Oct. 19.

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With that in mind, they have moved to establish some quick, short-term goals — achievements Jay said could happen quickly. “There are a couple 8,000-sq.ft. stores and if we can get some junior anchors in those stores, it would be a quick way to do some-

St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


Volunteers needed for Snow Angels program


Winter is yet to arrive in St. Thomas, but the phones at city hall are already ringing for this year’s Snow Angels program. In its third year, the volunteer-run program was started by the City of St. Thomas during a Random Acts of Kindness Day and has grown to the point where they’re looking for people to help. “I know we’ve received a number of calls already because we did put it on our waste management calendar,” said St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson. “We have about 25 people on this list right now that require assistance and that list is growing.”

The program is designed to match volunteers with neighbours that require assistance shovelling during the winter. “Some people are not able to remove the snow,” the mayor said. “We’re really putting on a big push this year to get more volunteers signed up in hopes that we’re not going to need them, but this is Canada so the reality is that it is likely going to snow.” Jackson calls on residents that have access to a shovel or can transport a snow blower during their free time to assist others in need. Anyone interested can call city hall at 519-631-1680 ext. 0 and have their name added to the list — this also goes for residents

who need some help this winter. While Jackson acknowledges and thanks people who already do this for others in the community, she said there are lots of residents who don’t have family that can help, and who may not know their neighbours. “We’re really just trying to connect people to become a more caring and compassionate community,” Jackson said. One positive of the program, the mayor said, is it aids in keeping seniors in their own home as long as possible. There are some residents Jackson admitted who don’t understand the premise of the program. For example, she said it’s not intended for people to do the work of the municipality.

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“We’re not asking people to shovel the roadways or anything that we do as a municipality,” Jackson said. “We’re trying to encourage people to take care of their neighbours and help one another out.” The second piece of the program involves homeowners adopting any fire hydrant near their home. “If you see a fire hydrant covered by snow we’re hoping people will shovel around it so they’re visible in an emergency situation,” Jackson said. “It makes it easier for the firefighters to gain access.” Interested high school students can apply the volunteer time to the hours required for graduation.

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Volunteers are needed for the St. Thomas Snow Angels program. St. Thomas Mayor Heather ­Jackson is calling on residents with shovels, or who can transport a snow blower during their free time, to assist others in need this winter.

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St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

Home Weatherization Program helps local family stay warm

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


Santa Claus ready for his St. Thomas return

SEAN MEYER The Weekly News

The calendar might be two weeks away from turning to December, and the wintry weather appears to be a way off yet, but that isn’t going to stop the Railway City from welcoming Santa Claus. The Optimist Club of St. Thomas will once again host Santa’s annual pre-Christmas visit in an evening parade through downtown St. Thomas on Saturday, Nov. 19. The parade gets started at 6 p.m. and follows Talbot Street, starting at First Avenue and travelling west to Elgin Street. “I like it for the fact people get excited about the parade. Even last year in the rain we had over 15,000 people attend,” said Bob Ward, parade chairman. “That’s awesome; it’s a tradition here, and the Optimists enjoy putting it on because the community gets a lot out of it.” St. Thomas isn’t alone in holding a Santa Claus parade more than a month before Christmas. Of course, the weather is just as much a question mark in November as it might be in December. “It doesn’t break my heart the snow doesn’t usually fly yet; last year the parade was in a torrential downpour,” Ward recalled. “The year before that it was -25C with the wind chill and we had a blizzard. Some of the bands didn’t make it because the


The Optimist Club of St. Thomas will again host Santa’s annual pre-Christmas visit in an evening parade through downtown St. Thomas on Saturday, Nov. 19.

roads were closed. But this is Canada, eh? We deal with it.” A parade with a quarter-century of history behind it needs to occasionally be refreshed with, “a breath of fresh air,” which Ward said will certainly be the case this time around. While some changes will come this year,

Ward said even more should be expected in 2017, all in an effort to make the parade “different and more attractive.” One of the bigger changes has been the Optimists asking for — and largely receiving — local corporate sponsorship with the goal of boosting the size and scope of Santa’s future festivities.

“This year we asked for some charitable contributions to the parade so we can attract bigger bands and more acts, which we will do next year because we will have the budget for it,” he said. “We have almost 40 floats registered, which is a little bit more than last year. What’s exciting is that we have at least a dozen brand new entrants. That’s very pleasing.” The theme for this year’s parade will be Christmas Melodies and Ward has promised some of the floats will have “very interesting twists” on that idea. Of course Santa Claus will be bringing up the end of the parade, but what’s ahead of him, “is going to be a lot different this year,” Ward said. An Optimist member for seven years now, although stepping up as parade chairman for the first time, Ward said the excitement of the parade is reflected in the faces of children in particular. “The parade gets the kids out and gets them in the festive mood, which really kicks things off,” he said. “A few years ago we made it a night-time parade, which adds even more effect because you have the lights rather than a daytime parade. It’s a nice twist and one that gets the kids really excited.” Full details on the Optimist’s Santa Claus Parade are available online at www.

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Central Elgin CE BUZZ Port Stanley West Pier Closed for the Season The west pier in Port Stanley is closed annually from November 1st to April 1st.

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


2017 Garbage Tags and Dog Tags

The Rotary Club of St. Thomas has honoured local students — one from each of the city’s high schools — with The E. Frank Sanders Service Above Self Award. Receiving their awards at the Wayside Dining Lounge on Nov. 14 were (from left) Nathyn Smith from St. Joseph’s Catholic High School, Murranda McCallum from Parkside Collegiate Institute, Emma Lyle from Central Elgin Collegiate Institute, and Michael Thompson from Arthur Voaden Secondary School.

Rotary honours students showing Service Above Self

SEAN MEYER The Weekly News

The Rotary Club of St. Thomas has once again honoured local high school students who have committed themselves to the organization’s global mantra of Service Above Self. During a presentation at the Wayside Dining Lounge on Nov. 14, the four honourees — one from each St. Thomas high school — were presented with the E. Frank Sanders Service Above Self Award. The awards, named in memory of Rotary Club of St. Thomas charter president Frank Sanders, were presented to Nathyn Smith from St. Joseph’s Catholic High School, Murranda McCallum from Parkside Collegiate Institute, Emma Lyle from Central Elgin Collegiate Institute, and Michael Thompson from Arthur Voaden Secondary School. Awards chair Paul Blower said the awards are given out twice a year, in the spring and fall, in part to honour Sanders, but also to 50 Years of Service! Thank you for all your support!

make sure the contributions of the students are recognized. “Our charter president Frank Sanders, who passed away a few years ago, he exemplified the Rotary concept of Service Above Self,” Blower said. “In order to do that, we’re recognizing students . . . who exemplified that concept of Service Above Self. We want to make sure those students are recognized as a way of marking their accomplishments.” Blower said he knows students today often have a lot on their plates between studying, extra-curricular opportunities and part-time jobs, and so their willingness to contribute to their community is something that needs recognition. “There is only so much governments can do. It requires the contributions of everybody, students now who will grow up to carry on the adults who are currently in positions of authority,” he said. “It’s important that notion of service above self, is recognized so others are inspired to carry on.”



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2017 garbage tags will be available for pick up at special evening and weekend sites at the Port Stanley Arena, Belmont Arena, and Elgin Mall. Dog tags will also be available at these locations, and are $30.00. Garbage and dog tag depots have been scheduled as follows: Belmont Arena • Saturday November 19, 2016, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm • Tuesday November 29, 2016, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Port Stanley Arena • Saturday November 22, 2016, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm • Saturday November 26, 2016, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Elgin Mall • Saturday December 3, 2016, 9:30 am - 2:00 pm Both garbage and dog tags are also available in the Municipal Offices in the Elgin County Administration Building, 450 Sunset Drive, during normal business hours. Fall Curbside Yard Waste Collection Built-Up Areas The Municipality of Central Elgin will be collecting leaves, grass clippings, and other yard waste until Friday, November 25th on scheduled waste collection days in built-up areas. No bag tag is necessary, but materials must be in biodegradable Kraft paper bags. Shrubs or branches should be one metre long and must not weigh more than 18 kilograms. Please remember that the Municipality no longer accepts grass clippings and yard waste with regular garbage. Yard waste is accepted at no charge at the St. Thomas Community Recycling Centre at 330 South Edgeware Road. For scheduled waste collection dates, please refer to the Waste Collection Calendars included with your garbage tags, or visit our website.


Municipality of Central Elgin

St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News


St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


Animation fixation brings filmmaker home

whitney south The Weekly News

He’s had a hand in bringing everything from human-exterminating aliens to cheeseburger monsters to life on the big screen, now Kris Pearn is bringing a piece of ­Hollywood North to the Forest City. A writer and director for B.C.-based Bron Animation, Pearn is overseeing the company’s new London office on Richmond Street. More than just a big move, it’s a homecoming of sorts. “I grew up on a goat farm between Delaware and St. Thomas,” he said. “I’ve spent so many years on the road making cartoons all over the world, it’s an amazing feeling to be home. As much as what we do is a global thing, as a human being it’s great to be connected to things.” With Bron looking to expand into Ontario, the timing just seemed to work out. It’s also brought him back to the city where he first discovered his love of drawing, though creating moving pictures wasn’t part of the original plan. “My drug of choice when I was kid was Saturday comics,” Pearn explained. “We used to get the paper every week, and I was always trying to draw them. I had always loved animation as well, but this was before the time of the Internet, so it wasn’t really something a kid from the farm would know how to do.”

whitney south Photo

Kris Pearn is heading up Bron Animation’s new team in London, which will be providing pre-production for a new film, The Willoughbys.

Luckily, thanks to what Pearn described as “a really good guidance counsellor,” the young artist found himself enrolled in the classical animation class at Sheridan College. It would prove to be a truly mind-blowing experience.

“There are only a couple moments in your life where you’re really pinballed in the right direction, and that was definitely one for me,” Pearn said. “I had always been the art kid, that’s kind of how I survived high school. I wasn’t good at hockey and I couldn’t play guitar, so I had to have some

other kind of superpower. It was the start of a whole new world.” No longer limited to only drawing panelled cartoons, he began his adventures in animation the same year Disney released The Lion King. It was a movie Pearn said blew up the industry, sending the artform in a whole new direction. Over the years, he’s gotten to work as not only an animator, but a storyboard and feature artist as well, and was even mentored by industry legend Don Bluth, best known for classics An American Tail, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and The Secret of Nimh. These days Pearn’s resume is packed full of projects, including feature films like Open Season, Surf’s Up, Shawn the Sheep, and Arthur Christmas, just to name a few. He also co-directed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, starring Bill Hader and Anna Faris, and has been selected to work on the new, and as yet untitled, Star Wars Han Solo project. But for now, situated comfortably in their new digs, the London team is set to continue working on The Willoughbys, a film adaptation of the popular children’s book by Lois Lowry, with Pearn at the helm. “The work here will be primarily preproduction for the project,” he explained. “Right now it’s all Willoughbys, but Bron is a very diverse studio, so there’s no telling what could happen in the London office down the road.”

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INTERNATIONAL JOHNNY CASH SHOW COMES TO PORT STANLEY THEATRE The incredible Jim Yorfido stars in “Johnny Cash: A Country Christmas” with his lovely wife Pam co-starring as June Carter & Tammy Wynette

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016




Remembering military heroes

MIKE MALONEY The Weekly News

Canada’s military veterans, both past and present, were honoured Nov. 5-6 at the second annual Military Heroes event, held at the Dutton-Dunwich Community Centre. “It’s a weekend to educate not just children, but families as well on the high cost these young men and women paid for the freedoms we have today,” said Jenny Phillips, one of the event’s organizers. Running both Saturday and Sunday, there were a number of military artifacts on display at the event, including uniforms worn over the years by The Elgins regiment, photos, vintage military vehicles and a mounted demonstration on horseback of precision riding by the 1st Hussars Cavalry troupe. The event concluded on Sunday afternoon with a remembrance service for Pte. Kenneth Donald Duncanson, a Canadian soldier originally from the Wallacetown-


Dan McKillop Gordon Thomas and Jim Ford look at a display about Pte. Duncanson.

Dutton area who was declared missing in action in September 1944. Seventy-two years later, his remains were located in a Belgian farmer’s field. Positively identified in April of this year, his remains were interred at Adegem Canadian War Cemetery in Belgium on Sept 14.

Calling all Johnny Cash fans! Don’t miss the amazing, international touring show “Johnny Cash: A Country Christmas” when it comes to the intimate Port Stanley Festival Theatre for a special pair of performances on Saturday November 26th at 3pm and 8pm. Starring as “The Man in Black” is the incredible Jim Yorfido, widely considered the number one Johnny Cash tribute in the world. Yorfido has thrilled audiences across the globe with his stunning portrayal of the music legend, which truly captures both the distinctive look and booming Baritone voice of Johnny Cash. Backed by the worldclass Memphis Cats band, the show also includes the lovely and talented June Carter as Johnny’s fun-loving sidekick. “A Country Christmas” combines legendary hits from “The Man in Black” including the early hits on Sun Records “I Walk The Line”, “Folsom Prison

Blues”, to his prison albums “Boy Named Sue”, “San Quentin”; alongside classic Christmas favourites performed in a true Johnny Cash style. As a special bonus on these shows, Yorfido’s multi-talented wife Pam will also perform as June Carter singing their famous duet “Jackson” as well as a tribute to country queen Tammy Wynette with chart topping hits like “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” and her timeless anthem “Stand By Your Man”. Tickets to see “Johnny Cash: A Country Christmas “ at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre on Saturday November 26th at 3pm and 8pm are on sale now, valuepriced at only $36 +HST/SC, available at the theatre box office located at 6 302 Bridge Street in Port Stanley, or by calling toll free 1-855-782-4353 or locally at 519-782-4353 or purchase online at Get your tickets early to get the best seats to one of these incredible shows!



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St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

LEST WE FORGET: Close to 2,000 people braved the chilly Nov. 11 weather to take part in Remembrance Day services, once again held at the Boy Solider monument at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital.

St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


St. Thomas to examine drastic city council overhaul


St. Thomas councillors participated in a lengthy debate at the Nov. 14 meeting, which involved a review of the current system in place for municipal elections. The three areas discussed included the size of council (eight members), the current councillor-atlarge voting system and the creation of a deputy mayor position. The consensus of council was that another position should be added in the event of a tie vote as well as to

absorb some of the committee work that has several councillors sitting on as many as 10 committees. Mayor Heather Jackson commented that she did not feel a deputy mayor position was needed, but agreed having an extra councillor would alleviate some of the issues. Coun. Jeff Kohler also supported increasing council by one member and suggested a ward system would make it easier for residents to get involved in the election process, having to choose from only a few candidates instead of everyone intent on running.

Coun. Mark Burgess said that while he was in favour of increasing council, his preference would be to stay with the at-large system. Coun. Gary Clarke suggested an opposite approach — taking council’s numbers down by one and seeing if there were any committees that didn’t need a representative. On the topic of implementing a ward system, a recorded vote was taken with only Kohler and Coun. Mark Tinlin voting yes. Staff will bring a report back to council on the addition of one extra councillor, as well as a report on

making the mayor’s position fulltime. STEGH expansion update After updating the goal from $13 million to $16 million the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH)’s Great Expansion project is well underway. The updated goal reflects the need to purchase a replacement CT scanner for the hospital. Construction of the expansion got underway in 2015 with a substantial completion date set for November 2017. The new addition is designed as a post disaster build-

ing, able to withstand any emergency situation. A mechanical and electric plant will also be built in the emergency area to make sure areas of the hospital remains up and running in case of a power failure. The City of St. Thomas pledged $3.5 million to the project over the next 10 years. Upcoming fundraising events for the hospital include the annual World Tubing Championships in February. Last year’s event featured 39 teams that raised over $60,000.

Get Involved!

Businesses, school classes, service club, organizations, neighbours, individuals…. It’s easy to get involved! 1. Collect canned food for the food bank in your community and build a “Canned Goods Sculpture” with these cans. 2.Take a photo of your “sculpture.” 3. Email this photo as a high res. unretouched JPG to: 4. Once your photo is submitted, take down the “sculpture” and donate the canned goods to the food bank in your community

BEST CANNED GOODS SCULPTURES CONTEST Prizes will be awarded for the best sculpture in School Class division, Business division and Other division. Submit your photo to by noon December 1st, 2016. Winning photos will be published in the December 8th edition of the St.Thomas/Elgin Weekly News.

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Raising the bid in support of STEPAC The auctioneer’s gavel was swinging at the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre (STEPAC) on Nov. 4. The occasion was the centre’s annual fall art auction, featuring over 80 works created by a variety of both local and regional artists. “There is one piece of sculpture, there are paintings, photography and contemporary art. There are some

more historic pieces by well-known local artists as well,” said Sherri Howard, STEPAC education and event coordinator. The event serves as the major fundraiser for the centre, and has been a staple at STEPAC since the centre officially opened in 1969. Howard said while STEPAC always has a dollar amount they hope to achieve through the auction, there really is no way to positively predict what they will actually raise.

“There’s been some years where we have raised over $25,000 — that’s a good auction for us,” she said. “It depends on the crowd and what people are looking for.” Judging by the public’s response heading into the event, that number might be attainable again. Always well received by local art patrons, Howard said tickets for the auction have been sold out in advance for the last 12 years running, adding, “It’s a very popular event.”

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(Clockwise from above) Chef James Meadows shares a few tasty offerings with Rita Morgan (left) and Mary Vanzanten (right); Colleen Hughes, Shawn Jackson and his wife Robin compare notes on one of the works up for grabs; Rob Hilton puts a bid in on a watercolour by artist Pat Fairhead.



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The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


Dining Out Elgin Recipes brings a new taste to St. Thomas A newcomer to the St. Thomas culinary scene,

Recipes (located in the food court in Elgin Mall) offers something new and Why did the fish stop signing? different to diners on the go. Their concept is Because he couldn’t that of a Mediterranean carry a TUNA! restaurant, offering a varied menu that includes dishes from across the many in that The jokes may be bad, countries but the fish and chips region. The meals are are amazing! homemade from fresh, Dine in or take out. healthy ingredients, Delivery available. cooked fresh every day. We ordered a variety of options: chicken Est. 1960 shawarma wrap, lentil 644 Talbot Street, St. Thomas soup, and a falafel 519-631-3202 platter. The falafel came Tuesday thru Saturday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. with choice of two Closed Sunday & Monday

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sides, which in my case were roast Provencal potatoes and hummus with pita chips. The pita chips crispy and fresh, offering the perfect vessel by which to transport the hummus, which was bright, lemony, and fresh tasting, to the taste buds. The falafel was also delicious, with a generous portion of six falafel. The portion of rice that also came with the meal (which had a tasty addition of lentils mixed in) was enormous! I could get three side dish portions from the one order of rice. When it comes to the shawarma, the wrap was ample size, stuffed with fresh toppings and moist, savoury chicken. We also shared a piece of baklava for dessert, which was flaky and delicately sweet – just as it ought to be. Everything we

ordered was hot, fresh, and exactly as we ordered it. Next time (and there will be a next time) I think I’ll try the fattoush salad and the koushari, a lentil and rice dish topped with pasta and pomodoro sauce. Recipes brings a new exotic taste to St. Thomas and if you ask me, it’s a welcome addition to the culinary scene in our city. They offer fresh food fast, with a nod to the exotic and exciting cuisine of the Mediterranean region. The menu features a wide variety of tastes and options at affordable prices – the perfect recipe for a delicious meal! The next time you are looking for something a little different for lunch or dinner, check out Recipes. You won’t be disappointed. There’s something here for the entire family!

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A Gift Certificates from one of these local Restaurant Mail in, email or drop off this ballot to be entered into the draw. All entries must be received by Noon on December 8th, 2016, the Draw will be held December 9th and the winner will be notified by phone. Limit 1 entry per household, Incomplete or illegible entries, mechanically or electronically reproduced entries will not be accepted and will be disqualified. The Contest is open to all residents of the Elgin County that have reached the age of majority, except for employees, their immediate families and anyone living with any employee of Metroland Media. One (1) prize is available to be won, consisting of a $50 gift certificate (approximate retail value of each prize is $50.00 CDN). The winner must come to 15 St. Catharine St, St. Thomas, ON to collect the prize won. If the winner does not claim the prize within five (5) days of notification, another eligible entry will be selected and contacted and the first selected entrant will have no further claim to the prize. In order to be eligible to win a prize, each selected entrant must correctly answer a mathematical skill-testing question without assistance or mechanical or electronic aid.

engagement of all parties working together on a non-partisan issue,” she said. “Violence against women is not a partisan issue; we all have to work together.” Another way Vecchio has established herself in Ottawa is working behind the scenes. One example she points to is working with Conservative Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship critic Michelle Rempel to garner support for immigration reform. She recalls lobbying people in the Montreal area, including Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather, who wanted to support Rempel’s bill, but said he couldn’t without some amendments. That’s where the behind the scenes works comes in. “I went to back to Michelle and said we can get another 50 MPs on board if we amend clause three. A lot of things get done behind the scenes, things you don’t see in a regular debate,” Vecchio said. “Those are things I’m really proud of. When you talk about bills, especially the private members bills, they come to you and we have some really good discussions.” Vecchio was also among the MPs taking a lead in the Senate




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In her slightly more than one year on the job, Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Karen ­Vecchio has found herself hectically bouncing from one public event to another, enjoying every minute of it.

expense scandal. Saying it was “a huge part of my dialogue” for the first month after members returned in January, Vecchio said it wasn’t about attacking people, but instead making government more accountable. “Those are the sorts of things I’ve been a huge part of that will get the trust back for politicians. They say politicians don’t care, well we do care, and I do care,” she said. “I think that’s one thing I’ve done a good job on. I’m a very frugal MP;

I want to make sure we’re spending appropriately.” When she first came to Parliament, Vecchio admits to feeling “very pigeonholed” in her role as an MP. The first month was probably the biggest change because she felt under pressure and a little overwhelmed. But when she returned to Ottawa in January, Vecchio said she committed to “remain Karen Vecchio, remain that goofy person I am and deal with people as I always would.”

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I would have a little more down time . . . it’s not an option. I don’t have time to eat, which I was reKaren Vecchio can still clearly re- ally surprised with,” she said. “You member where she was on Oct. 19, can make a choice of how busy you 2015, watching a Toronto Blue Jays want to be, but with who I am, and playoff game. in my critic’s role, I’m just busy all It also happened to be the night the time.” of the federal election, and while Vecchio said she’s proud of what Liberal Party red she’s accomswept many ridplished during ings, blue stayed that busy first the colour of year. Elgin-MiddleOne venture sex-London, as “I thought when I was that sticks out in Vecchio stepped her mind is workup to replace her in Ottawa I would have ing with the other retiring boss, a little more down time London MPs to former MP Joe the Shine . . . it’s not an option. I bring Preston, with one The Light camof the more lop- don’t have time to eat, paign to Parliasided results of ment Hill for the which I was really evening. first time. surprised with.” Since that An initiative night, Vecchio’s of the London Karen Vecchio life has transAbused Womformed into a Elgin-Middlesex-London en’s Centre, seemingly endShine The Light less schedule of has become one travel, meetings, speeches and more of the leading programs in raising than a few skipped meals. That be- awareness around men’s violence ing said, she couldn’t be happier against women and children. about it. “That is phenomenal because a lot “I thought when I was in Ottawa of times people don’t see the actual sean meyer The Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016

Vecchio reflects on hectic, but exciting first year


St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


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A meeting of the Green Lane Landfill Public Liaison Committee has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016 at the Green Lane Business Office at 7:00 p.m. Public submissions are welcome and can be mailed to: P.O. Box 20039, St. Thomas, Ontario N5P 4H4 For further information, please contact the Secretary at 519-633-3800 (evenings) or

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FUNDRAISING FRIGHTS: Some 140 high school students took part in the Starlight Film Festival Fright Night at the Cineplex Galaxy Cinemas in St. Thomas on Nov. 12, helping to raise $3,300 in support of United Way Elgin-St. Thomas. The festival, which got underway at midnight, featured showings of The Visit, The Conjuring 2, Insidious and The Ring.

Caution urged after stray bullet found

Elgin County OPP are urging hunters and firearm owners to take caution this year, particularly after a stray bullet was found in a bedroom. An incident was reported to police on Nov. 6 when officers were called to a residence in Malahide Township where a stray bullet was found in a bedroom of a Dingle Line residence. Police are reminding gun owners to be aware of their backstop when using their firearms or while hunting. The following are reminders to hunters: • All hunters must wear solid

hunter orange clothing (a minimum of 400 sq. in. or 2,580 sq. cm. above the waist) and a hunter orange head cover during gun seasons for deer, moose and elk, • Hunters must never shoot unless they are absolutely sure of their target and what lies beyond it, • It is illegal to shoot from a vehicle or carry a loaded firearm in or on a vehicle. • All firearms must be unloaded while travelling in a vehicle. For further information on firearms safety and hunting, visit the websites of The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (www.ofah. I would like to thank all those org), the Onwho visited, called, gave flowers, tario Ministry of Natural Regifts, cards, and took food to the house during my stay in the sources (www. hospital. Your thoughtfulness page/hunting) was truly appreciated. and Firearms Safety EducaSincerely, tion Service of Ontario (www. Harriett DeJonge

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The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


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Jeff Sheridan and Ray Bosveld share a few memories with Bob Hammersley (right), president and CEO at the St. Thomas and District Chamber of Commerce, at a reception marking his 30th anniversary with the organization.

Cline and singing some of the Megan Schroder asonePatsy hit wonders from the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s

Saturday December 31 Hammersley marks 30 years Progress Building • Western Fair District

“St. Thomas has had its ups and downs,” Hammersley said. “We’ve gone through the downturn of the auto industry, but we It’s even hard for him to imagine some are on a rebound now so it’s easy to feel days, but it has been 30 years since Bob pretty good about where we’re headed and Hammersley first slid in behind his desk the potential. But in this business you need at the St. Thomas and District Chamber of to learn to live with the ups and downs and Commerce (STDCC). when you get hit with downs, you learn to To help mark the occasion of his 30th an- fight back.” niversary with the local chamber, a recep- The chamber itself has also changed a tion for Hammersley was lot in that time, growing held at Legends Tavern on to more than 500 member Nov. 4. businesses and organizaLooking back on his tions. time as president and The evolution of tech“As long as I’m CEO, Hammersley never nology has also had a figured when he started in making a difference huge impact on how the 1986 that he would still be and being positive and chamber does business in holding down the position many areas, from its abilenjoying what I do, ity to share information to today. “I thought maybe this then I’m just going to promoting the community was something that might itself, Hammersley noted. keep doing it.” last for five years,” he said. When asked what the “I’m amazed at how quicknext 30 years holds for Bob Hammersley ly time goes, but boy it’s him, Hammersley said he Chamber of Commerce isn’t about to start putting been a great ride.” That ride has seen a lot of dates on things yet. changes over the last three “As long as I’m making decades, and at times may have felt like a difference and being positive and enjoyhe was sitting in the front seat of a roller ing what I do, then I’m just going to keep coaster. doing it.”

MIKE MALONEY The Weekly News

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St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson, who is well practiced at city hall flag raisings, doubled up her efforts on Nov. 14, helping to recognize efforts at ending bullying, but also supporting children and youth grieving a loss. Jackson joined representatives from Hospice Outreach Programs of Elgin (HOPE) as they marked Children’s Grief Awareness Week and the Community Action Network for Children and Youth in Elgin as they stood in support of The Pledge to End Bullying and the Bullying Prevention Committee. “They are related conversations. We want everybody to have these conversations,” Jackson said. “We want them to be a part of everyday life. To remove the stigma and taboo around these things, to be able to support each other is what a caring and compassionate community is.” Cindy Webber, HOPE executive director, said the flag raising marks not only Children’s Grief Awareness Week, but also Children’s Grief Awareness Day, which takes place Thursday, Nov. 17. The awareness week launched in

2008 in Pennsylvania and is supported by a Children’s Grief Awareness Day network. The initiative was brought to St. Thomas and Elgin County because of the support gaps she said exist locally. Webber said marking the week, and the day, is undertaken in recognition of children everywhere who are quite often the “forgotten grievers” in many circumstances. “People don’t understand that no matter how young they are, they grieve. Everything that happens affects them within the family,” she said. “They say, 1-out-of-20 children, before they end school will have lost a significant loved one. So we have to have these conversations and continue to have them as the children mature.” It can be difficult for parents to recognize when a child is struggling with grief. Their first language, Webber said, is behaviour. So if a child isn’t acting in a way they usually do, then there is something they’re probably not getting out. The importance of these conversations, she added, is magnified when considering how suicide has become a more prevalent discussion in communities everywhere.


St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson, who is well practiced at city hall flag ­raisings, doubled up her efforts on Nov. 14, joining representatives from ­Hospice Outreach Programs of Elgin and the Community Action Network for Children and Youth in Elgin, helping to recognize efforts at ending ­bullying, while also supporting children and youth grieving a loss.

“How many people were affected when younger and weren’t supported the way they should have been? Quite often some of them have had a loss and its been neglected,” Webber said. “We don’t know if there is a connection, but it makes you wonder.”




When we’re talking about antibullying, Jackson said it’s important people understand it certainly isn’t just a conversation in schools. The mayor said she isn’t sure the wider community is getting better at discussing these topics, adding, “I think we have a long way to go.”

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Lindsay Rice, who was among those representing the community action network, said the value of that awareness can’t be minimized. Rice said bringing awareness to the topic of anti-bullying, but also understanding there are a number of initiatives across Elgin County — often beginning with the school boards — to support bystanders, victims and bullies alike, is vitally important. “Especially it’s around individuals who are the most vulnerable and require the most protection,” she said. “It can be a difficult conversation to have, but it’s really important it’s on the front end of conversations whether the workplace, the school, or the sports team. “ From her perspective, Rice said she believes the community is getting better at having these conversations. Certainly the community is much more open to having them in an effort to create an atmosphere of inclusiveness and understanding. “It can take a lot of courage, a lot of bravery sometimes to stand up when you see something,” she said. “We’re asking families and children and adults to reach out when they are in need.”

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SEAN MEYER The Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016

Anti-bullying, grief awareness highlighted


St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


Feds announce $50 million to help women entrepreneurs

SEAN MEYER The Weekly News

The federal government has announced plans to make it easier for women to start their own businesses, but it might not have a significant impact in St. Thomas and Elgin County — at least for now. On Nov. 9, Minister of Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger, hosting the Canadian Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference in Toronto, announced the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will make fundamental changes to the way it does business with women, and will aim to become a world-leading financial institution for women business owners.

At the same time, BDC is taking on a number of new activities to support women entrepreneurs in the tech sector. These new initiatives, representing over $50 million in investments, will help women who run technology companies raise capital. These include an internal fund for women founders, a women’s venture acceleration program and a women’s seed fund. “Women are key economic drivers. With these fundamental changes to the way BDC does business, we will create more middle-class jobs and drive inclusive economic growth for our nation,” Chagger said. “BDC is well on its way to being a world-leading institution to

help women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in Canada and around the world.” While supportive of the announcement in general, Tara McCaulley, manager of the Elgin/St. Thomas Small Business Enterprise Centre, questions whether the announcement will have impact on the local level. The announcement is “very specific to technology companies,” something McCaulley said they don’t see a lot of at the centre. “There’s not a ton of technology companies in our area, but the ones we’ve seen come through the small business centre have been male (run),” she said. “That being said, wherever we can, we want to encourage women. I think it’s a task

for me to take a further look at the program, see how it can assist us.” Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Karen Vecchio was excited for the announcement, adding “it’s a really good thing” whenever efforts are made to support women entrepreneurs. “I look at women entrepreneurs in our own area . . . we can see women in many of these sectors, but anything we can do to encourage entrepreneurship is wonderful,” Vecchio said. “By putting this out there we are creating more opportunities for women. And within our own community we have 100s of women who are starting their own businesses.” Providing women entrepreneurs with a more readily accessible fund-

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ing source also speaks to the barriers McCaulley says exist today. She pointed to a 2015 study by Ryerson University that found 52 percent of women surveyed said fear of failure kept them from starting their own business. Creating a clearer focus on supporting women in business, McCaulley said, means they are more likely to take a shot at entrepreneurship, particular in a sector that has typically been dominated by men. “I think there just hasn’t been the focus,” she said. “There are lots of great programs coming out for female youth around coding. It’s all about girls in technology, which is getting that great focus, as it should.”

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016






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Community Events

St. Thomas, Ontario


Online: • In Paper: Please Submit by 5pm Fridays • 45 Elgin Street, St. Thomas (519) 631-0850 join the LIONS for FREE Hot Chocolate; while you enjoy the Annual Santa Clause Parade. FREE OF CHARGE! Please email your non-profit event to November 19 - Dutton & District before Monday LIONS 7th Annual TRIVIA Night! at 10:00am (25 words or less) No web Only $20 per person, includes, full night of fun and a 6 PM meal. November 18 - St. John’s Contact Lions Bob 519-762-3341 Presbyterian Church, Colborne or Mike 519-762-1952 to book your Street, Port Stanley, will be Team; NOW! Selling Out fast! holding their annual Turkey November 19 - 8:00 - noon. Dinner. Sittings at 4:30 pm CHRISTMAS at PORTER and 6 pm. For tickets call HALL St. John’s Anglican Nov. 18, 7-10 pm and Nov. 19, Church 20 Flora Street - baking, 1-9pm - Aylmer-Malahide Museum frozen meals, quality gift items Christmas Tour of Homes. 4 and more. Coffee break. Unique Homes plus the Museum. Tickets $15, 773-9723 or 773-5575 November 19 - 9:30-11:30 a.m. PLAINS CHURCH CHRISTMAS November 18 - Turkey Dinner, and BAZAAR, Fairview Ave & all the trimmings, pie included for Sparta Line, Refreshments, dessert, two sittings 4:30 p.m. and Home-made Crafts; Baking; 6 p.m. St. John’s Presbyterian Books; Attic Treasurers, etc. Church, Colborne Street, November 19 – Pickleball Lessons Port Stanley. For reservations – equipment supplied. Must be or information call 519-78218 or older and a resident of Elgin 4192. Take outs available. County. Registration deadline November 18 - St. Thomas – Nov. 10. Call 519-207-1466 Seniors Centre 22nd Anniversary November 19 - 9 am to noon, Celebration Roast Beef Dinner, Union United Church presents; Silent Auction & Dance!! Holly Berry Market, at Union 5pm $12 Adv $14 day of United Church, 6008 Stone November 19 – 8 a.m. – 12 Church Rd., Union. Shop for p.m. Holiday Vendor & Artisan unique gifts, preserves, baking, Marketplace. St. Thomas Free etc. Stop and chat with a friend Reformed Church, 145 St. over a cup of tea or coffee. George Street. Free. Call Niki November 19th - 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. 519-709-4478 for details. The Holly Fair First United Church November 19 - 3 p.m. - Cafe, Bake Shop, Country downtown Dutton. Please; Advertise your community event here...

Store, Holiday Entertaining, Attic Treasures, Bookstore, Blind Auction , Door Prizes, Kid’s Corner and Crafter’s Market November 19 – St. Anne’s Holly Berry Bazaar 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., 20 Morrison Dr., St. Thomas. Crafts, bake table, pies, country store, attic treasures, children’s area, draws, prizes, penny table. Something for everyone. Come and stay for a delicious lunch. November 19 – Snowflake Bazaar 1:30-4 p.m. St. James Presbyterian Church, 44936 Fergusons Line @ Yarmouth Centre Rd., Central Elgin, Baking, Deli, Penny, Crafts and Tea tables. Free Admission. Info @ 519-633-2788 NOVEMBER 19, 2016 from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm THE GARDEN CLUB OF LONDON ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BOUTIQUE at the Civic Garden Complex, 625 Springbank Dr., London. ADMISSION IS FREE. A SNACK OR LUNCH IS AVAILABLE IN OUR TEA ROOM. It is the sale of the season that people wait for all year! Unusual and unique home décor items all beautifully designed with natural products. Fresh greenery including swags, wreaths and urns to decorate your home for the coming Christmas and Holiday Season. Homemade epicurean delights including dried herbs, jams and vinegars. Pressed flower items including cards and gift tags, along with

natural tree ornaments and many more original and lovingly handcrafted items by our talented members. CASH OR CHEQUE ONLY. DON’T MISS IT!!!!!!!!!! November 20 - Springfield Lioness ŒCrafts & More - 10:30 am to 3:00 pm at Malahide Community Place, Springfield. Craft Vendors, Bake Table, Reverse Penny Table, Tea Room. November 23 - Nurses Retired or Not meet for noon luncheon. RSVP by Sunday November 20 to 519.633.1796 or 519. 769.2822 November 23 – 7 p.m. Brenda Gallagher, Forestry Technician, will discuss Gardening For Your Senses at the St. Thomas & District Horticultural Society meeting. Canada Southern Railway Station, 750 Talbot St. Holiday meeting featuring Door Prizes and Refreshments. November 24 – 7-9 p.m. – Turkey Raffle at Knights of Columbus Hall, St. Thomas.

Trinity Anglican Church The Purple Steeple People

Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016 9:00 BCP Eucharist 10:30 BAS Eucharist Reverend Valerie Kenyon Preaching Organist & Choir Director Susan Marshall 519-631-7000

40 Oegema Farms turkeys to be won! Everyone welcome November 24 – Euchre Games & Desserts 1:30 p.m. St. Andrew’s United Church, 60 West Avenue November 25 – 5 – 7 p.m. Almighty Roast Beef Supper at St. John’s Anglican Church on Flora. The best beef you’ve ever tasted. Servied with a warm welcome and all the trimmings. 519-631-7368 November 25- 6:00pm--Sanctuary Homes of Elgin/St. Thomas homelessness awareness & fund raising turkey dinner-@ Fellowship Community Church, 641 Elm St. Guest speaker--Andy Oudman. Call for info, for tickets $25.00-Shirley 226-678-6313 Shirley Schuurman 226-6786313 November 25 - LIONS Annual Fun Night with Turkeys. Dutton Dunwich Community Centre. Enjoy an evening out and win a turkey! 7 PM start; $1 admission & $5 card covers all 20 games.

Knox Presbyterian Church Hincks Street at Wellington Street 519-631-2414

Minister: Rev. Mavis Currie Organist & Choir Director: Dr.Wayne Carroll

Sunday, November 20, 2016 Camp Kintail Sunday Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Please join us COME AND WORSHIP WITH US, EVERYONE WELCOME

Death Notices BERKO - Walter James “Wally” of St. Thomas passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family at the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital on Thursday November 10th, 2016, at the age of 55. BOYD - John Inglis (Oct. 4, 1953-Nov. 7, 2016)-It is with sadness that the family of John announce his passing on Monday, November 7th, 2016, in South Carolina. ELSOM - Mrs. Mary (nee Willoughby), of

Sifton Family Owned Since 1926 We offer a full range of funeral planning options


118 Wellington Street, St. Thomas

St. Thomas, formerly of Sarnia, passed away on Monday, November 7, 2016, in her 76th year. She was an employee of Shoppers Drug Mart, St. Thomas for many years. Cremation. A celebration of life service was held at the CASO Station on Tuesday, November 15, 2016. Sifton Funeral Home. HAYES - Jennifer Lynn (Martin) of St. Thomas, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family, after facing her illness with strength and courage, on Sunday, November 6th, 2016, in her 48th year. JEWELL - Grace Emily Styles - at Mary Bucke Caressant Care Nursing Home, Grace Jewell of St Thomas in her 90th year passed away November 8th, 2016. KEAN- Jeffrey L. of St. Thomas passed away on Monday, November 7th, 2016, at the St.

Thomas-Elgin General Hospital, at the age of 46. KELLY - “Cy” Ignatius Thomas of Aylmer passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 in his 88th year. KENNA - Deborah “Debbie” (Rossiter) of Zephyr and formerly of St. Thomas, passed away peacefully, on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, at the MarkhamStouffville Hospital, at the age of 61. McDOWELL - Mary G. of Aylmer and formerly Calton, passed away peacefully at the Elgin Manor where she had resided for the last year, on Saturday November 12, 2016, in her 97th year. ROBERTSON - Shane G. of Tillsonburg, passed away on Monday, November 7th,

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016

Presenting St. Thomas & Elgin County’s

2016, at Tillsonburg, at the age of 27. STALEY - Gail Frances of Brights Grove, passed away peacefully at the St. ThomasElgin General Hospital on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, at the age of 82. THOMPSON - Patricia Jane (Kipling) of St. Thomas, passed away peacefully, on Saturday, November 12th, 2016, at the St. ThomasElgin General Hospital at the age of 62. WESTLAKEN – Paul James of St. Thomas passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Monday, November 7th, 2016 at the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital. WHITNEY - Rose Marie (Addley) (Annett) of Oneida Nursing Home, Southwold and formerly of Sparta, passed away peacefully, on Sunday, November 13, 2016, at the age of 86.

St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

No Charge!


St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, November 17, 2016


THANK YOU! For making our 7th Annual Bridges to

Better Business Event a Great Success. A special thank you to David Chilton, as our Guest Speaker! A huge thank you to Chick Boss Cake, Why Not Cookies Cafe, That Crêpe Place and Bakery, Tasty Sweets Cafe & Bakery, KJ’s Bakery, @Grandma’s Oven Bakery & Cakes Inc, Las Chicas Del Café and Wildflowers Tea for sharing their time and talents and showing our community many of the great choices for shopping local.

Congratulations to all our award winners! Summer Company Award - Country Canning

Downtown Business Award - Sherry’s

Young Business Achievement Award - Clap Balm

Promising New Start Up - Salt & Pepper Meals

Libro Small Business Award - Smart Dental Hygiene

Starter Company Award - Serenity Wellness Centre

Elgin County Economic Development Award - Great Lakes Farms

Inspirational Entrepreneur - Out There Creative Therapy

Lifetime Achievement Award - Yurek Pharmacy & Home Healthcare St Thomas Economic Development Award - Amino North America Corporation St. Thomas Small Business Achievement Award - Twelfth Night Events, Wedding & Event Planning

Thank you for the support from our sponsors, we couldn’t have done it without you!

For more information, please visit us at

St. Thomas Nov 17, 2016  
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