June 8, 2021 - Council Highlights

Warden Proclaims June 15th as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Elgin

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Logo - Building Strong Support for Elders

At the request of Elder Abuse Elgin, Warden Tom Marks declared June 15th as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Elgin with the following proclamation:

WHEREAS: The County of Elgin’s seniors are valued, contributing members of society, imparting a wealth of experience and wisdom in our communities. They deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. It is our collective responsibility to ensure they live safely and fully engaged within the community that cares about them.

WHEREAS: The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action, proclaimed this day to recognize the significance of elder abuse as both a public health and human rights issue; and

WHEREAS: 2021 Marks the 16th Anniversary of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Its recognition will foster a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older adults; and

WHEREAS: Elder abuse is not limited to race, gender, culture, or circumstance, and regardless of whether the abuse is physical, emotional, or financial, it has a significant impact on the lives of individuals and families; and

WHEREAS: Seniors are at risk of being abused and social isolation and ageism are contributing risk factors in Ontario; and

WHEREAS: The County of Elgin recognizes the importance of taking action, to create social change, that prevents elder abuse and raises awareness, through education of neighbours, friends and family members about the Rights of older adults; and

WHEREAS: Preventing abuse of older adults will help improve their quality of life and allow them to live independently and contribute to the vibrancy of Ontario for as long as possible; and

WHEREAS: Where there is Respect there can be no abuse; therefore, residents of Ontario are urged to Stop Abuse and Restore Respect.

WHEREAS: Where there is respect there can be no abuse; therefore, residents of the County of Elgin, are urged to join this global movement to Stop Abuse and Restore Respect.

THEREFORE; I, Tom Marks Warden of The County of Elgin Ontario do hereby proclaim June 15, 2021 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and encourage all of our residents to recognize and celebrate seniors and their ongoing contributions to the success and vitality of our province, Ontario.

Council Adopts Community Safety and Well-Being Plan

Community Safety and Well-Being Logo

At its meeting held on June 8, 2021 Council adopted the Aylmer-Elgin-St. Thomas Community Safety and Well-Being Plan and approved it for consideration by Elgin’s Local Municipal Partners.

In accordance with Bill 175 – The Safer Ontario Act all municipalities are required to prepare and adopt a Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB) Plan by July 1, 2021.

The County of Elgin, the City of St. Thomas and the Town of Aylmer chose to take a collaborative approach to CSWB planning, developing a joint plan for the entire area. Through the guidance of a Coordinating Committee and input from an Advisory Committee of local community organizations, a plan has been formalized that recognizes the important leadership role that municipalities play in identifying local priority risks in the community and addressing these risks through evidence-based programs and strategies, focusing on social development, prevention and risk intervention.

The initial CSWB Plan is a three (3) year plan. There are many elements that contribute to community safety and well-being and therefore it was important to identify areas of focus to ensure that the Plan is achievable. The Advisory Committee used local data and feedback from community engagement to identify five (5) areas of focus of the Plan:

  1. Education and Skills Development
  2. Housing Security
  3. Mental Health and Well-Being
  4. Public Safety
  5. Substance Use and Addiction

In order to implement strategies and actions within these focus areas, a structure was developed that leverages existing planning tables in Aylmer-Elgin-St. Thomas. An Action Table has been identified for each priority area and the work of each table will be connected through the establishment of an Integration Table. The Integration Table will consist of the Chairs of each Action Table, the Mayor of the City of St. Thomas, the Warden of Elgin County, the Local Member of Provincial Parliament, and the CAOs of Elgin County and St. Thomas. The Integration Table will ensure a coordinated and collaborative approach across the five (5) priority areas.

A copy of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan can be viewed here.

Council Receives Annual Library Performance Measurement Report

Council received the 2020 Annual Library Performance Measurements report – a detailed statistical breakdown of usage at Elgin County’s 10 library branches, and across the system as a whole. The report included circulation information and comparisons related to both physical and digital materials, in-person visits, curbside pick-ups, and programs and services. The report also detailed the library’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the introduction of new programs and services tailored to the COVID-19 environment.

The graphic below provides a brief overview and the comprehensive statistical report can be found as part of the June 8, 2021 Council Agenda Package.

Elgin County Library 2020 Statistics

Council Approves All-Way Stop at Imperial Road and Dexter Line in Port Bruce

Council approved an all-way stop controlled intersection at Imperial Road and Dexter Line in Port Bruce to provide sufficient sight-lines for road users.

The Port Bruce Bridge has been replaced and was subsequently opened to traffic on December 18, 2020. The project’s final lift of asphalt pavement and associated roadway paint markings were installed in May 2021.

Concerns regarding the lack of available sight distance for drivers on the Dexter Line approaches to Imperial Road, south of the bridge were brought to staff’s attention and upon review, staff recommended Council consider the creation of an all-way stop at this location.

Elgin County Designated as Regional Fire Training Centre

The County of Elgin is excited to announce that it has received provincial designation as a regional training centre for firefighters.

In early 2021, the Province of Ontario announced that it would close the Ontario Fire College in Gravenhurst. This single training hub would be replaced by a decentralized system designed to enhance local training opportunities through the designation of 20 regional training centres.

Elgin County Fire Training Officer/CEMC Jeff VanRybroeck announced at a County Council meeting on June 8, 2021, that the County’s application to operate one of these training centres had been accepted.

“Elgin County’s location in southwestern Ontario and its existing facilities made us an ideal candidate to host a fire training centre,” said Warden Tom Marks. “We are excited to expand on the joint training programs already in place across the County and to offer additional training opportunities close to home.”

The training centre will provide firefighters from Elgin County’s seven (7) Local Municipal Partners as well as Middlesex County the opportunity to receive new recruit training as well as higher level training courses for career advancement such as certification for instructors and fire officers. Training will be hosted at existing facilities across Elgin County and will not add additional costs to the existing fire training program.

“Elgin County is honoured to have been chosen as a location for a regional training centre,” said Warden Tom Marks. “Being able to offer this level of training in Elgin County is going to reduce the burden on local firefighters, the majority of who are volunteers. Taking time off work to attend a training session in a community far away from their homes was inconvenient for part-time firefighters and costly for municipalities who often had to pay for travel and overnight stays. A local option will be both more convenient and less costly – it’s a win-win situation.”

The training centre will also be open to firefighters from areas outside of Elgin County and Middlesex County who want to access training in a more convenient location.

The complete June 8, 2021 County Council Agenda package can be found here.


Easter Holiday Closure Notice
Family Day Closure Notice
Graphic to indicate holiday closures at Elgin County Facilities. The Elgin County Administration Building, Provincial Offences Administration Building, and Elgin County Heritage Centre will be closed on Friday, December 23rd at noon. Regular business hours will resume on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024.