PSN file photos
Dr. Craig Cole, Heritage Port and the Heritage Conservation District steering committee
have been silent to the letters of opposition to the "Heritage District" presented
here. Why have they not written in to explain their point of view?
Craig Cole, who sits on the Heritage Conservation District steering committee, has
been busy behind the scene sending out emails. What else have he and Heritage Port
been up to?
Aug. 23, 2013
Thank you all for your support at last week's Heritage Conservation District meeting.
I do not know where we are going from here (a few people at the meeting were outspoken
in their opposition), but a short email to saying simply that you support the concept
of a Heritage Conservation District in Port Stanley, would not hurt. Written comments
were requested by September 3, and I would think the more positive comments received
the better. At this point it is all very political.
Dr. Craig Cole lives at 194 Harrison Place in Port Stanley
If Port Stanley were a person, she would be on life-support. Once the belle of the
ball, she was a vibrant robust beauty with everything going for her. She had a harbour
that brought in passengers, and shipped and received freight. She had sandy beaches
that supported a "Coney Island" style midway, and there was a casino (gasp!!!) and
a convention centre/dance hall. There were fish plants, lumber mills and coal yards.
Hotels and guesthouses dotted the main streets, and even electric streetcars took
people to the beaches. Port Stanley once had a bank, once had a police force, and
once had lots of local children running around looking for mischief.
What happened? Life happened. The railway stopped coming into town. Lake Freighters
no longer stop in as the river and approach to the harbour stopped being dredged.
The casino left town and the dance hall/convention centre burned and then was torn
down. London expanded to the north and St. Thomas, with its wealth and industry,
started its own decline. People stopped coming and progress took a holiday.
Now, our businesses struggle to make it through the winter, and the theatre closes.
The summer rental market dries up and our ageing population either heads south or
hunkers down for a long cold winter - AND this is the place "Heritage Port" wants
to freeze time in.
Freezing time to the 1900s to 1940s would have been better, as Port Stanley was
progressive then; she had vision and wanted to grow. There was no paid parking,
and no one telling homeowners what they could do with the outside of their homes.
Heritage Port (a local historical society club) is afraid of the future, is afraid
of change. It mistakenly believes that making Port Stanley look cute and quaint
(only the façades facing the street?) will revitalize her and bring in tourists.
They don't want multi-storey apartment buildings, or new construction in the core.
Imagine if a mosque, a temple or an ashram should want to come to town - I think
they'd have a heart attack because those things never existed in town before!
We need growth and change, we need big business to look on this town and say it
is worth investing in. How about bringing back the good old days and build a Casino
and convention centre. Bring back the ferry between Canada and the USA. Open the
three beaches up to businesses. Set up a business park on the outskirts of town.
We need young people of every race and religion to see they have a future here and
to raise their families here. We need their input (because they will inherit Port
when the old lady dies), not a bunch of old men and women who want to keep the status
The Heritage District plan takes away homeowner's rights to the outside of their
home, and it will increase your taxes.
Do you want that?
So please, send an email to Don Leitch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and have your say one way or the other. It's never too late.
As the petition against the Heritage Conservation District designation never made
it to Council, you may want to copy your email to Don Leitch to every member of
Central Elgin Council as well, just to make sure they are aware of it:
Mayor Bill Walters: email@example.com
Deputy Mayor David Marr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Dan McNeil: email@example.com
Councillor Sally Martyn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Stephen Carr: email@example.com
Councillor Russell Matthews:
Councillor Rob McFarlan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Contact List
Voting members of the Municipal Heritage Committee are:
•Ward 1: Scott McFarlane (307 Hetty Street, Port Stanley), Jim Matheison (435 Tower
Heights, Port Stanley)
•Ward 2: John Martyn (Sparta), Brenda Louws
•Ward 3: Jane Zavita-Bond, Greg Fish
•Ward 4: Glenn Dutton
•Ward 5: Joan Mansell
•Council Representative: Sally Martyn, Sparta
The executive are Chairman: Dr. Robert Burns, Vice-Chair: David Greaves, Treasurer:
Ray Martin, Secretary: Sally Martyn. Several other interested citizens attend the
meetings, as well as representatives from our 3 historical and heritage societies
in Central Elgin.
CORRECTION: Scott McFarlane phoned on September 19, 2013 to say he has not been on that committee for two years. Evidently, the municipal website information is out of date.
There is nothing on Central Elgin's websites to stay who is on the Heritage Conservation
District steering committee.
UPDATE: The Heritage Conservation District Study Steering Committee members are:
- Councillor Sally Martyn
- Councillor Dan McNeil
- Carol Gates, Port Stanley BIA Bd of Management
- Nigel Howcroft, Port Stanley Village Association
- Robert Burns, Sparta
- Craig Cole, Port Stanley
Councillor Martyn has chaired the Steering Committee.
Central Elgin's CAO Don Leitch provided this information by email on September 19,
2013 @ 3:35 p.m. He promised to have someone follow up later to provide the information
as to who currently sits on the Municipal Heritage Committee. We will post that
list as soon as it becomes available.
UPDATE: Provided by Councillor Sally Martyn, September 19, 2013 @ 5:50 PM
The voting members on Heritage Central Elgin are as follows:
- Ward 1(Port Stanley): Dr. Craig Cole, Jim Mathieson, Rod Nicholson
- Ward 2: John Martyn, Dr. Robert Burns, David Harding
- Ward 3: Jane Zavitz Bond
- Ward 4: Glenn Dutton
- Ward 5: Joan Mansell, Dot Sale
- Councillor: Sally Martyn , alternate Dan McNeil
- Dr. Burns is the chairperson and Sally Martyn is the secretary.
Voting Members on Port Stanley Heritage Conservation District Committee:
- BIA representative: Carol Gates
- Heritage Port representative: Dr. Craig Cole
- Port Stanley Village Association representative: Nigel Howcroft
- Council representatives: Sally Martyn, Dan McNeil
- Heritage Central Elgin representative: Dr. Robert Burns
- 4 of the voting members are from Port Stanley
- 2 are from Ward 2, the Sparta area
- Sally Martyn is the chairperson of the committee
We have three staff on the committee as advisors:
- Jim McCoomb, CE Planning Office
- Don Leitch, CAO
- Chandra Dougal, is acting as the recording secretary
- Staff do not have a vote
[Editor's Note: The membership numbers of the Port Stanley Village Association
is unknown, so it is unknown how representative this group is of the 2,400 village
residents; or how they proved to Central Elgin that they are representative enough
to justify being on this committee and having a vote on it.]