Mayor Chris Peabody focuses on keeping dialogue open

·2 min read

BROCKTON – Mayor Chris Peabody spent a busy few days at the AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) conference, hosted by the City of Ottawa Aug. 14-17.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Peabody said he’d met with Sylvia Jones, Ontario’s minister of health, to discuss the emergency room situation at South Bruce Grey Health Centre’s Walkerton site, as well as efforts to construct a residential hospice in the Brockton-Hanover-South Bruce area.

“The health minister was very engaged, very interested in what happened in Walkerton (with the cut in overnight hours at the Walkerton emergency room) and in what South Bruce Grey Health Centre did to reopen the ER,” the mayor said.

Peabody also met with Michael Kerzner, Ontario’s solicitor general, regarding support for security and transportation of prisoners at the courthouse.

“I was able to thank him for the recent changes on fail to appear,” said Peabody.

Thanks to efforts by Brockton, in particular Coun. Tim Elphick, Brockton and other communities that have courthouses will no longer be billed for an unfair share of costs when a person fails to appear in court.

The Brockton mayor was not surprised to learn in meeting with Sheref Sabawy, parliamentary assistant to sports minister Neil Lumsden, that there is no new capital funding from the province for arenas.

“I think it’s important to keep the dialogue going, and keep our place in line,” Peabody said.

He was able to meet informally with Ontario’s agriculture minister, Lisa Thompson, who was “very appreciative” of the support she’d received from Peabody at both the municipal and county level in the form of a motion on the use of fertilizer. While the issue is “not over yet,” he said, the strong stand against the mandatory reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer use is helping modify the federal Liberal stance on the matter.

Agriculture groups are arguing that reducing fertilizer use will reduce yields at a time when food security is a major concern.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times