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Warden & Council

Welcome to the County of Elgin

Warden's Contact Information
(519) 631-1460 ext. 110

The County of Elgin is governed by a Warden and 8 Councillors, who are elected every four years.

Council's Strategic Vision 2015-2018

Grant Jones, Warden

Warden Bernie WiehleMunicipality:   Township of Southwold 
Office:   Mayor/ Elgin County Warden 2016/2017



This is Mr. Jones' first full term on Elgin County Council.

He first served on Council in 2014 in the absence of Southwold Mayor James McIntyre. He was elected Mayor of Southwold Township in the October 2014 election. 

Warden Jones serves on the CAO Selection Committee, the Dispute Resolution Committee, the Rural Initiatives Committee and the Terrace Lodge Building Committee. 


Welcome Past Wardens, Councillors, Family, Friends and Guests,

It is an honour to accept the position of Warden of Elgin County. I would like to thank my fellow Councillors for the support they have shown in entrusting me with this important office for the coming year. 

This Council has accomplished many things over the past several years and I look forward to accomplishing a great deal more with the guidance of those who sit around this table. 

I would like to thank and congratulate Warden Bernie Wiehle for a very successful year as Warden. You led this Council with dignity, humour and a sense of unity while strengthening relationships with Elgin’s partner municipalities.

I would also like to thank all past Wardens.  Your hard work and dedication laid the foundation for our successes today. 

I would like to thank the residents of Southwold for electing me as Mayor.  Thanks to Southwold council and staff for supporting me in having the opportunity to fulfill the role of Warden.

Most importantly I couldn't do this without the support of my family. Thank you to my wife Mary-Lou, Carl my son and business associate and the rest my family it's going to be a busy year.

Fellow councillors and colleagues, the upcoming year presents us with both challenges and opportunities. In working together to overcome these challenges we will ensure that Elgin County remains a great place to live, work and play. 

In 2016 the County received funding approval from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to rebuild Terrace Lodge.  The planning process for this facility is well underway and construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2017. 

The County has also been approved for funding from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage for the construction of a new museum facility. This investment will cement the County’s commitment to preserving and celebrating our community’s rich heritage. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2017. 

On January 1, 2017 the transfer of Wonderland Road from the Township of Southwold to the County of Elgin will be formalized. This transfer is a result of a new 401 interchange at Wonderland Road that has directly increased traffic volumes on this road. The road must be rebuilt in order to sustain these high volumes of traffic and Council will need to navigate the significant costs associated with this rebuild.

Elgin County remains committed to Economic Development. The County led Community Improvement Plan, Elgincentives, to-date has provided 50 different projects with a total of $350,000 in funding. Combined with the contributions from property owners this has resulted in business improvement projects valuing over 1 million dollars. This program will continue to make a significant impact on the business community in the coming year.  

In 2017 Council will begin preparation for the 5 year review of the County’s Official Plan which is scheduled for 2018. 

In 2017 two members of senior staff will be eligible for retirement. The succession planning process has begun and will continue over the next year. This process will require careful consideration and mindful selection of individuals who will help to lead the County in 2018 and beyond as we strive to continue the culture of excellence that has been established by Council and staff over the past several decades. 

The role of Warden has many responsibilities and duties, all of which must be accomplished by Council and staff working together as a team. I promise to respect the time-honoured traditions
 of this office and I look forward to working to serve the great people of Elgin County.   

In closing, I want to thank everyone for coming out tonight, and invite you to come downstairs for a time of fellowship.

Thank you,
Warden Grant Jones 





According to the Handbook of Upper Canadian Chronology, the Warden was the Chairman of the District Council after 1841. He was appointed by the Provincial Government until 1846 and then elected by the Councillors from among their members. Usually after 1846 he held the office for only one year.

The District Councils Act 1841, Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada (4 - 5 Victoria, Chapter 10, Appendix X, gives specific instructions to Wardens which are paraphrased below:

  • The Warden was empowered to appoint a temporary District Clerk
  • The Warden, at the first quarterly meeting each year, nominated an auditor while a second auditor was elected by the Council
  • The Warden had the right to name the District Surveyor
  • The Warden, as chairman of the Council, was frequently called upon to impose his advice and authority; to regulate the mode of passing by-laws; to suggest useful and prevent the enactment of mischievous or unlawful measures; and to watch that the conditions required by the Ordinance to legalize those proceedings be faithfully observed.
  • The Warden was directed to transmit to the Governor an annual statement of the Accounts

The role and responsibility of the Warden in 1841 is perhaps best described in the following quotation :

"It is the earnest desire of His Excellency the Governor General, that you should assiduously endeavour to master the details. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of the trust committed to your hands, or the beneficial influence which those laws, faithfully and zealously carried out, may exercise over the destinies of the Province. It is above all things essential that the Wardens should well understand their principles and leading provisions. Wardens, as the name imports, are guardians and defenders: they ought to be guardians of the rights and interests of the people, and defenders of the prerogative of the Crown. The instructor as well as protector of the inferior officers of his District, the Warden will often have to impart to them the information required for their guidance. A due performance of which task, with all the patience, sagacity and zeal it demands, will go far to insure an uniform and prosperous working of the system."

(Signed) D. Daly,

Secretary of the Province

Remarkably, in 2002, the role of the Warden bears similar resemblance to that envisioned in 1841. Sections 69 and 70 of the New Municipal Act describe the position of Warden as follows:

69.(1) The Warden of a county, the mayor of a city or town and the reeve of a village or township is the head of the council and the chief executive officer of the corporation.

70. It is the duty of the head of the council,

(a) to be vigilant and active in causing the laws for the government of the municipality to be duly executed and obeyed;

(b) to oversee the conduct of all subordinate officers in the government of it and, as far as practicable, cause all negligence, carelessness and violation of duty to be prosecuted and punished; and

(c) to communicate to the council from time to time such information and recommend to it such measures as may tend to the improvement of the finances, health, security, cleanliness, comfort and ornament of the municipality. R.S.O. 1990,c.M.45,d.70.