Karen Vecchio's Facebook
Karen Vecchio's Twitter
Karen Vecchio's YouTube
Karen Vecchio's Instagram

LETTER: An observer’s take on the town hall meeting

The Western Elgin Town Hall was held at Natterjack Brewing Co. in Eagle, the evening of May 23. The town hall was attended by about 65 people, which may be slightly less than the average age of the attendees. The keg of the best-selling beer, a Belgium blond brewed onsite with pistachio and 7.6% ABV, had to be changed just once. The pot of coffee remained nearly full.

After several late substitutions, the elected officials whom took the podium with the intermittent sound system were Karen Vecchio, Conservative MP for Elgin-Middlesex-London; Dutton/Dunwich Mayor, Bob Purcell; and West Elgin Councillor Ward 1, Taraesa Tellier.

The best media award goes to Vecchio, with a blue-tinged pamphlet and a braille embossed business card she seems well informed of the issues pertaining to more than a few topics, as one would expect the Chair of the Status of Women Committee, Chair of the Conservative Social Development Advisory Caucus, Member of the Auto Caucus, Seniors Caucus, Anti-Poverty Caucus, Agricultural Caucus, Great Lakes Caucus; and Member of the Canada-United States Inter-parliamentary Group to be.

The town hall seemed to form to a question-and-answer format and little discussion ensued. Ask your questions and await the reply – most likely not an answer, more of a wide-ranging rebuttal. We are your elected leaders. Pay your taxes. Take what we giveth.

MP Vecchio did provide a wide-reaching response to participates questions pertaining to bio-security, trespassing laws and cash crop canola market issues by connecting the current global super powers’ tariff wars and international security concerns with China’s Huawei – as one would expect from such a well-informed MP.

But she did not mention that, sometimes no matter how hard you work to ensure fair and strong cash crop commodity prices on an international level, sometime biohazards such as the “African Swine Fever”, may kill of 40 to 50 million or so swine in China and negatively affect markets.

Elected Official First Star goes to the last-minute substitution, West Elgin Coun. Taraesa Tellier. Well informed and straight-forward with the most information about the issues that matter most to the community, she was a sobering shot of actual facts.

Tellier noted that it currently costs approximately $11,000 to send out municipal bills? Well thanks to Tellier, West Elgin residents can opt to sign-up for online billing, which will serve to both save money and reduce paper waste.

She also provided some insight into various projects, current, pending and urgent, for the town of Rodney and West Elgin. Dutton/Dunwich Mayor Bob Purcell noted certain projects in the County of Elgin and the Municipality of Dutton/Dunwich, being manly focused on seniors’ housing developments, current and pending.

Tellier and Purcell both touched on the common issue of waste management. Tellier expressed her dismay at the 16 years of study completed on the Rodney Sewer Plant, and figuratively questioned when we were going to get our crap together.

Also, she noted that West Elgin landfill requires a management plan. A connotation that it is better to budget and manage according to a plan than to stall until we forced to act.

Prompted by a question regarding garbage bag-limits in Dutton, Purcell noted that there is some consideration going into bringing back the “Green-Bin” program for organics waste management.

He clarified that personal behavior choices cannot be enforced, but through enforcement of bylaws and traffic laws we can direct behaviour.

Say, for example, if you generate more than three bags a week of garbage, being more than the municipality may choose to collect, maybe consider looking at ways you could reduce the amount of waste you toss, instead of demanding that the government accommodate your waste.

The night ended with thanks to the public participants from the elected officials. There were no babies to kiss, but more than one person left with a cold six-pack of Natterjack Brewing Co.’s brew.


Allen Jackson

West Lorne


Published by: West Elgin Chronicle