Town & County News

County Council Highlights for September 21, 2022

Warden Lauds Queen’s Legacy; Urges Residents to Wear Orange on Sept. 30

Warden Gary McNamara at the start of Wednesday’s Essex County council meeting paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II and urged residents to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by wearing orange.

The Queen, whose funeral was held on Monday, “was a calming, steady presence who reassured us in times of crisis, and who was always there to help us celebrate landmark occasions and accomplishments,” he said. “In upholding her duties, the Queen carried on traditions that go back hundreds of years, but she also helped us set out on a road to a better future by participating in historic changes.”

McNamara also urged residents to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day on Sept. 30 by honouring the children who survived and those who did not return home from residential schools.

County staff are being encouraged to wear orange, he said. “Indigenous communities across Canada have led the way by commemorating Orange Shirt Day to raise awareness of the devastating impact of residential schools. They are showing us the path to reconciliation and urging us to walk it with them.”

The warden commended the Essex County Employment Engagement Committee for raising $1,557 for Habitat for Humanity. He also thanked county staff members who took part in painting and other work at a four-unit residence Habitat for Humanity is building at The Bridge Youth Resource Centre in Leamington.

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan Accessibility Plan Update Approved

The 2023-2027 County of Essex Multi-Year Accessibility Plan was approved by council.

The updated plan outlines how the county will prevent and remove barriers to accessibility that people with various abilities may face when accessing its programs, services and facilities. It was presented to council along with an update on 2022 county accessibility initiatives and activities spearheaded by the Essex County Accessibility Advisory Committee.

These include:

  • The WE Check the Trails project.
  • A virtual summer speakers’ forum called No Barriers, No Problem!
  • The raising of a new regional accessibility flag in conjunction with local municipalities.
  • Continuing to give Essex County staff training and tools to provide accessible services.

County Homelessness Hub Pilot Project Opens in Leamington

The Essex County Homelessness Hub opened its doors in Leamington on Sept. 12.

Council received an update on the two-year pilot project, which it approved in June. In a report to council, Jeanie Diamond-Francis, manager, community services, said the county contracted Family Services Windsor-Essex to run the hub, which is located at 215 Talbot Street E. in space leased from the South Essex Community Council.

Already, the hub has been visited by individuals looking for support and services. Discussions are underway with local agencies and faith leaders that can provide regular services at the hub. An official opening is expected to take place in the near future.

Conferences Council Members May Attend in 2023 Approved

A list of conferences that the members of the next Essex County council will be able to attend in 2023 has been approved by the current council.

The approval is required under the county’s conference attendance policy in order for council members to be reimbursed for expenses, as set out in the policy.

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