Society St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul Society Shoppe now open at new location

By Jonathan Martin


Amherstburg’s St. Vincent de Paul Society Shoppe is officially open for business at its new location.

The store has been open to the public for a couple weeks already, but July 28 was marked by its actual ribbon cutting.

Previously located at 263 Dalhousie Street, the thrift shop has moved around the corner to 61 Murray Street.

Amherstburg’s mayor Aldo DiCarlo showed up with a brand-new pair of gold-plated scissors for the occasion.  After the store received a blessing by Father Brian Jane, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church’s pastor, DiCarlo cut a red ribbon in front of the shop’s doors.

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church pastor Fr. Brian Jane says a prayer at Amherstburg’s St. Vincent de Paul Society Shoppe on its grand reopening at its new location on Murray St.

“Things like this are very important to communities,” DiCarlo said.  “Especially communities the size of Amherstburg. Small communities rely heavily on organizations that give back to their towns and (the Society of St. Vincent de Paul) gives back in so many ways.”

Inside the store, there was a spinning wheel that gave customers the chance to win discounts alongside refreshments.

Rosanne Winger, general manager of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, said the public response to St. Vinnie’s new location has been positive so far, even before their official opening.

“People seem to be liking the new space,” she said.  “It’s cozy and fresh and newly-painted.”

She said the store isn’t fully set up, though.  By next week, Winger hopes to have signage for and access to a garage door to accommodate those wanting to donate items.  Donation bins will also remain in the parking lot.

Cost of police clearances becomes a concern of council members



By Ron Giofu


Amherstburg town council lent its voice to the issue of volunteers having to pay for multiple police clearances.

The matter arose due to a letter that was included on the agenda as part of Amherstburg Police Services Board (APSB) minutes on the matter. Amherstburg St. Vincent de Paul Society member Dan Laing wrote the board with concerns about the organizations volunteers having to repeatedly pay for police clearances.

Long-time volunteers have had to obtain clearances and, with those volunteers also having to be fingerprinted, it brought the cost to $85 for one clearance, the letter stated.

“It is a common theme that most of our male members should now be fingerprinted like common criminals to prove their identity,” Laing’s letter stated. “I think this is ridiculous and no way to treat volunteers who are doing their best to keep Amherstburg the safest community in Canada.”

Laing wrote that volunteers from other organizations have been experiencing similar issues.

“Our SSVP conference is composed of single ladies and 15 couples ranging in age from 60 to 92. Most of the couples who go out on calls together, never alone, have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary,” the letter added. “As well most of us have lived in this community our whole lives and if we were law breakers it would be well known to the local police. I would appreciate it if we could be excused from the fingerprinting requirement at this time or at least the cost of this pointless exercise.”

Laing added: “A new policy concerning the treatment of volunteers who are requesting police clearance would also be most helpful.”

Councillor Joan Courtney raised the issue, noting such volunteers don’t get paid for what they do and are “trying to make life better for residents of Amherstburg.”

Chief Tim Berthiaume said that it is employers and insurance companies who are the ones that seek police clearances and the rules are governed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

“We are working on a policy to help these groups out,” said Berthiaume.

Councillor Rick Fryer called for the fingerprint policy to be changes, stating “once you have the fingerprints once, you have the fingerprints on file.”

Not so, stated Berthiaume.

The police chief stated the fingerprints are not kept in town and are sent electronically to the RCMP. The RCMP doesn’t retain the fingerprint copies, he added.

“It’s not our rule, it’s an RCMP rule,” said Berthiaume. “That’s what leads to the frustration.”

Councillor Jason Lavigne said the RCMP isn’t allowed by law to keep the fingerprints and said the APSB may be able to absorb some of the costs. Fryer voiced concern with that possibility, stating “it’s going to come out of our budget.”