Town agrees to 10-year lease with nurse practitioner-led clinic


By Ron Giofu


The Essex County Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic is one step closer to reality.

Town council agreed to a ten-year lease with the clinic with the motion to approve the lease coming after an in-camera meeting Jan. 14. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said they had a plan in mind for the former St. Bernard School after the town purchased it and the clinic is part of it.

There are a number of renovations that are required before the Essex County Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic can use their share of the building, but the mayor hopes it will be done in a few months.

The clinic is a reality in large part thanks to $650,000 in provincial funding.

“We hope to have them in there for residents to use by late-spring, early summer,” said DiCarlo. “Everybody wanted that clinic open as soon as possible. They have two options, – either they go somewhere else or they wait what most people would say is an unreasonable amount of time for health care. We’re trying to reduce that wait time and make sure that they don’t have to leave town.”

The Amherstburg clinic is expected to have three full-time nurse practitioners, a registered dietitian, a health promoter, physiotherapy services, a full-time registered practical nurse, an office administrator and a full-time receptionist. It could accommodate as many as 2,400 patients.

The mayor stated many towns like Amherstburg could use additional health care options.

“I don’t think I’ve talked to a community that said we’re flush with health care,” he said. “There’s a number of ways to provide health care and so what we’ve done is find an alternative model and these nurses and basically do just about anything a doctor can do.”

The former Catholic elementary school has been described as a potential “seniors hub,” but DiCarlo said it will be more of a community hub as there is the possibility for youth amenities as well.

“There’s a lot of room in that school. The (Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board) left it in really good shape,” he said.

The “general concept” of the site is health care, seniors care and seniors activities, he noted, but youth will be incorporated.

“It should be a great plan for young and old all in one convenient location in town,” said DiCarlo.

Town council to move forward with audit advisory committee


By Ron Giofu

Town council will be moving forward with the establishment of an audit advisory committee despite a request to do without it.

Deputy Mayor Leo Meloche suggested that the town not set up such a committee and re-evaluate its needs in the future. Meloche expressed confidence in treasurer Justin Rousseau and noted there are multiple chartered accountants on staff.

“We have qualified people,” said Meloche. “We’ve cleaned up our act.”

Meloche said he didn’t speak out on the matter at the previous council meeting, when the matter was originally discussed, as he was chairing the meeting. He recalled the last time the town had such a committee and noted there was a meeting where only he and Rousseau showed up.

Councillor Michael Prue disagreed, noting that audit advisory committees are common throughout Ontario and recalled one in Toronto when he served there.

“What is wrong with another set of eyes?” asked Prue.

Councillor Peter Courtney said he wasn’t questioning the integrity of administration but agreed with Prue that “another set of eyes, ears and brains” would be useful.

“It’s more knowledge and knowledge is bliss,” said Courtney.

In a recorded vote, Meloche was the only one in favour of moving ahead without an audit advisory committee and re-evaluating in the future while Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Prue, Courtney and councillors Marc Renaud, Donald McArthur and Patricia Simone were opposed to the motion.

Town talks about, but doesn’t reconsider development charges motion


By Ron Giofu

Town council talked about reconsidering a motion regarding development charges but in the end they stuck with the original motion.

A motion passed Dec. 15 regarding development charges deferral agreements called for the town to continue to offer deferrals and that administration be authorized to proceed with the use of letters of direction for the collection of the charges and that, based on an amendment suggested by Councillor Michael Prue, that administration be authorized to implementation an administrative fee of $275 per unit for each four month period until a unit is completed and sold. Prue stated in December that he believed that will “safeguard the taxpayers,” as Prue didn’t agree with the program overall from a residential perspective but did so from a commercial perspective.

Councillor Donald McArthur admitted he was nervous at the first meeting and asked at the Jan. 14 meeting if they could reconsider the motion so that additional questions could be asked. Prue said the public seems happy to have additional money in their pockets and believed that developers, whom he said are “very rich people,” have to pay the cost of doing business in a municipality and that includes paying fees.

“I thought it was a happy compromise,” added Councillor Peter Courtney, of the Dec. 15 motion.

Deputy Mayor Leo Meloche said administration came up with an agreement in partnership with developers and builders after the previous council requested that a meeting be arranged between the parties “yet this council decided to amend that.”

Meloche stated “it is incumbent upon us to have reasonable growth in our community” and he believed that can be accomplished with development charge deferral bylaw. The deputy mayor added that the Libro Centre is built to accommodate a population of 40,000 residents while the Amherstburg Wastewater Treatment Plant is built to accommodate 50,000 people.

“Our job is to make the town grow,” said Meloche.

Prue countered by stating that council passed an interim tax levy bylaw earlier in the meeting that penalized people for late payment on taxes.

“Why do developers get a special rate that our residents don’t get?” Prue asked. “How is that building a town?”

Meloche responded that the town should be providing incentives for developers to build in Amherstburg and said it is a “business approach” to defer development charges.

“I’m confident in the decision we made,” added Councillor Patricia Simone. “I don’t feel that we should be bringing it up again.”

Courtney, Prue, Simone and Councillor Marc Renaud voted against the motion to reconsider while Meloche, McArthur and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo were in favour.

Shaanti International Museum of Costumes and Dolls reopens in new home Feb. 1



The Shaanti International Museum of Costumes and Dolls has a new home.

The Gordon House will be the home for a rotating exhibit and the rare and unique dolls and costumes will be located on the first floor. The museum had been located in the Malden Community & Cultural Centre- a.k.a. the “Little White Church” – at 7860 County Road 20 (at Howard Ave.) since 2011 and was there until Dec. 2018 when the property was sold by the town.

The museum, which had been renting space at the church – will be debuting at the Gordon House with its first exhibit having a Black History Month theme. That will be unveiled Feb. 1.

The Shaanti International Museum of Costumes and Dolls features hundred of dolls from various cultures from throughout the world. It is moving to the Gordon House Feb. 1.

The exhibits will rotate featured dolls and costumes four times a year. Other themes throughout the year will include Native/Indigenous, Canadian/early French, The Uncommon and Victorian/holiday dolls.

“The exhibits will be further reachable to residents and visitors because of the new, downtown location and hours. The dolls and costumes are fascinating in their origin and fabrication. We encourage people to stop in to view this cultural attraction in the heart of Amherstburg,” says Anne Rota, the town’s manager of tourism and culture.

The public is invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony Feb. 1 at 4:30 p.m. to open the first exhibit at The Gordon House Tourist Information Center, which is located at 268 Dalhousie St. in Amherstburg.

The Shaanti International Museums of Costumes and Dolls contains approximately 3,000 dolls with the oldest being circa 1850. The museum also made news in 2017 when it donated $20,000 to the Belle Vue Conservancy.

For more information and hours of operation, please visit or phone 519-730-1309.

Local student helps give back to other youth



Special to the RTT


A local high school student has done her part to assist other youth.

Marisa Levy, a Grade 11 student at General Amherst High School, helped put together care packages for teenagers in need and distributed them during the recent holiday season.

“From a very young age, I’ve always wanted to give back to my community,” said Levy. “I’m fortunate to have had amazing Christmas’ each and every year, and I think it’s an extremely important event for everybody in Amherstburg an opportunity to experience.”

Marisa Levy recently helped teenagers in need with care packages. (Special to the RTT)

Levy indicated it is a family tradition that she is continuing.

“My grandmother has been putting together care packages for teenagers for as long as I’ve been alive,” she said. “Her hard work and selflessness inspired me to start the program in Amherstburg.  My family, and a few of our close family friends have taken months collecting donations from local businesses, couponing, and gathering all of our materials.”

Levy stated that she has aspirations of studying biomedical science at Queens University as an undergraduate degree.