Gemmell believes town is corporation, should be run like one



By Ron Giofu


Pauline Gemmell wants to continue to help the community she lives in so she is trying again to become a councillor.

Gemmell, the executive director of the Essex County Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic, is running in the Oct. 22 municipal election. That is the clinic that is expanding into Amherstburg with plans to move into part of the former St. Bernard School. She said she is anxious to get that going so that local people can access more medical services locally.

As for why she is running, Gemmell believes people should give back to the communities in which they live.

Gemmell said Amherstburg is a big corporation and has to be run that way.

“You have to build a team that can run it as a corporation,” she said.

In addition to her current position, Gemmell’s background includes owning Equity Group Property Managers Inc. and being a senior business analyst for the Ministry of Community and Social Services business transformation team. She has a business development background with the Bank of Canada and she added she has experience working with WSIB claims. Her experience has involved her providing full property management services for municipally-owned housing units and not-for-profit properties.

Gemmell said she would like to see the tax base expanded from a residential and business perspective. She believes now is the time to try and bring in business and industry to Amherstburg.

“I think we’ve had a good council the last four years,” she said. “I’d like to continue that.”

Gemmell said she is “thrilled” that the town purchased Belle Vue and hopes for the land’s development. As for the Duffy’s site, she would like to see that developed in more of a passive sense.

“Active is good too,” she added, “but it depends on what goes on there. Let families enjoy the space. Extend Navy Yard Park all the way across Duffy’s.”

Pauline Gemmell is seeking the position of councillor in the Oct. 22 municipal election.

The issue of boat trailer parking is best left to the private sector, she adds.

Regarding the policing issue, Gemmell heard during the last election that people wanted a costing. However, the former Amherstburg Police Services Board member said she wanted to keep the existing Amherstburg Police Service.

“I’m sad to see that we’ve decided to have the Windsor Police Service police our community. I would have preferred to keep our policing services here,” she said.

Gemmell is also in favour of having clear lines of communication between the mayor, council, administration and the public.

Among the skills Gemmell said she has are the ability to develop and present monthly financial statements to her board of directors, the ability to develop quarterly financial reports for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the ability to develop monthly financial statements for submission to private and municipal property owners, and the ability to create annual budgets and manage a budget of nearly $3 million. Gemmell is also on the board of directors with the Glengarry Non-Profit Housing Corporation and with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Her background in business and management as well as her volunteer work are what she believes make her stand out among the 2018 municipal election candidates. She said she can relate to people running their own businesses and the difficulties they can face.

“I know how tough it is sometimes,” she said.

Gemmell is a graduate of Lakehead University in psychology and law, has a diploma is gerontology from Confederation College and is a certified mediator thanks to her education at Canadore College.

“I’m very familiar on how government works,” she said. “I’ve worked extensively in management for a lot of years.”



Natyshak opens campaign office


By Jonathan Martin


Essex’s incumbent member of provincial parliament is officially on the campaign trail again.

Taras Natyshak, New Democratic member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, opened his office’s doors to the public Sunday to kick off the campaign season.

The small office, located in the Town of Essex, was packed with Natyshak’s supporters.  A few of them sported T-shirts declaring, “Water is Life,” referencing the MPP’s bout with the Ontario legislature over water quality in Chatham-Kent.

Essex NDP MPP Taras Natyshak speaks to a group of his supporters in his Essex campaign office last Sunday. Natyshak is up for re-election June 7. He was first elected to the provincial Legislature in 2011.

There, farmers allege wind farms have caused harmful sediment to seep into their well water.  Natyshak brought the farmers’ concerns before the legislature on March 5, only to be ejected from Queen’s Park after producing a jar of black liquid, which he said came from one of the farmers’ wells.  Reports released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs state that no connection between the sediment and the wind farms has been established and, referencing findings by the Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health, contend that the water is safe to drink.

Natyshak stands by the farmers’ allegations, though.  Despite the fact that Chatham-Kent is outside of his riding, he said he will continue to work on the issue.

“It’s not a coincidence,” he said.  “I am fully invested in their fight and will continue fighting with them.”

Some of those affected by the sediment are members of Water Wells First, a group which speaks out against anything it deems harmful to the aquifer present beneath Chatham-Kent.

Water Wells First’s spokesperson is Kevin Jakubec.  He stepped onto a chair and addressed the office.

“I’m here today and our members are here today to thank Taras,” he said.  “He’s been a bulldog on the Ministry of Environment.”

After an impassioned speech, Jakubec stepped down from the chair and Natyshak stepped up.  He said that he cared deeply about the issue of clean drinking water because it’s a health issue, and healthcare is something he is passionate about.

Water Wells First spokesperson Kevin Jakubec speaks at Essex NDP MPP Taras Natyshak’s campaign office in Essex on Sunday, May 6, 2018. Natyshak brought the group’s concerns before Queen’s Park. He is now up for re-election. (photo by Jonathan Martin)

He said, if elected, the NDP plans to introduce 15,000 new beds into long-term care over four years and inject an additional 40,000 over eight.  He said adding beds to long-term care would free up space in primary care, which is an issue he feels will become even more pressing as Ontario’s population ages.

Another major topic of focus was the de-privatization of Hydro One.  Natyshak said the provincial NDP plans to take the value of the dividends the government has with its 42 per cent stake and buy back stock in the company.  That way, the public would become a majority owner and could deal with things, he said, such as “executive salaries, which are simply extravagant.”  He vowed to reduce Ontarians’ hydro rates by 30 per cent and eliminate time-of-use billing.

Natyshak said he tabled legislation last week that would refund hydro delivery fees for customers who experienced “frequent outages.”

“That’s a big issue here in Essex County,” he said.  “Hydro, across the whole province, needs to be fixed.  I see the path to do that. Seeing this many people turn out, I think they see it too.”